Food stall owners charged over Penang council lorry ‘hijack’


GEORGE TOWN: Two businessmen who “hijacked” a city council lorry last week to evade a raid on their illegal stall were charged at the Magistrate’s Court here today.

Mohammad Haziq Ammar Mohd Hussain, 28, and Abdul Muhaimin Mohd Hassan, 34, pleaded not guilty to a charge of obstructing a civil servant under Section 186 of the Penal Code.

They were accused of deterring a public servant from discharging his duties and taking away the city council’s lorry parked opposite the Bagan Jermal Fire Station, Jalan Tanjung Tokong, here at 8.30pm on May 4.

The sentence carries a maximum two years’ jail or fine up to RM10,000 or both if convicted.

Magistrate Mohamad Amin Shahul Hamid allowed bail for the two men at RM7,000 each and set July 4 for mention.

Deputy public prosecutor Nurul Fatim Hussain prosecuted, while M Puveneswaran appeared for the accused.

Police had earlier remanded the two men for five days for investigation under Section 353 of the Penal Code for using criminal force to deter a public servant from discharging his duties.

Last Thursday night, the men hijacked the city council enforcement lorry in an attempt to prevent their illegal eatery from being raided for the fourth time.

The lorry’s engine was left running as the driver was lowering a loading ramp at the back of the vehicle.

The men drove the lorry for 2km to the Pulau Tikus police station, where they lodged a report against the city council raiding team.

The two men filmed their entire hijack on their phones and later uploaded the clip to Facebook.

In the video, they claimed the council only acted against Malay traders while others were ignored.

The following day, city council officials said the eatery was operating illegally on government reserve land and had been raided three times since April last year.

They also denied claims of enforcement bias towards Malay traders, revealing statistics proving so.

In the first four months of this year, businesses owned by the Chinese were the most hit by enforcement, followed by Malay and Indian traders.

Tags: FMT, Malaysia, KL, Penang, Penang Island City Council, council lorry hijack, court, charge, Malay traders,