PETALING JAYA: Twenty Filipinos were sentenced to 18 months in jail for taking part in an illegal society in Sabah called the Knights of The Rights Keepers, Star Online reported.
The 20 pleaded guilty to the offence under Section 43 of the Societies Act 1966, which provides for a jail term of three years, a fine of RM5,000 or both.
The men had committed the offence at a housing area for estate workers in Lahad Datu at 9.40pm on June 24.
The 20 were aged between 19 and 40.
During mitigation, Saudi Salleh, on behalf of his friends, asked for a lenient sentence as this was their first offence.
Saudi told the Kota Kinabalu Magistrate’s Court that their society’s mission was to help those in need.
“For example, we will help a friend who is facing financial difficulties,” the news portal reported him as telling the magistrate.
Magistrate Jessica Ombou Kakayun told them that the banners used by the society reminded people of the 2013 Lahad Datu intrusion.
The 20 also pleaded guilty at the Sessions Court to illegal entry and judge Azreena Aziz sentenced them to jail terms running from four to five months.
The sentence will run concurrently with those imposed by the magistrate’s court.