KUALA LUMPUR: Dance producer Bilqis Hijjas has been acquitted of dropping yellow balloons at an event attended by Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife at a shopping mall two years ago.
In clearing her of the charge, magistrate Muhammad Faizal Ismail said the defence had created doubt over the prosecution’s case.
He said Bilqis’ claim that she only dropped the balloons to attract Najib’s attention to uphold constitutional principles was never challenged by the prosecution.
“Evidence by prosecution witnesses that they (guests who attended the event) would be angry with her (Bilqis) and that there would be disruption was mere assumptions,” he said.
Faizal said Bilqis, the only defence witness, gave evidence that was consistent with testimonies by security personnel and the image captured on CCTV.
He said there was also no resistance from her when she was apprehended by security officials, and the event proceeded smoothly.
On July 1 last year, Faizal acquitted Bilqis without defence being called on the grounds that evidence by prosecution witnesses could not prove that Bilqis intended to provoke and stir anger.
Bilqis, the daughter of prominent architect Hijjas Kasturi, was accused of dropping the balloons from the fifth floor of the Pavilion shopping mall in Bukit Bintang on Aug 31 while Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor were attending the DiverseCity 2015 Kuala Lumpur International Arts Festival on the ground floor.
The balloons, carrying the words “democracy”, “free media” and “justice”, followed the Bersih 4 rally which had taken place a day earlier.
Bilqis was charged under the Minor Offences Act 1955 for behaving in an insulting manner with the purpose of stirring anger which would likely cause a disturbance.
The offence carries a fine of not more than RM100 upon conviction.
Early last month, the High Court ordered her to enter her defence following an appeal by the government.
An elated Bilqis today said she hoped the government would not appeal the decision.
“This is a spurious charge and the court verdict shows symbolic resistance is allowed,” she told reporters.
Bilqis also thanked her lawyers who had handled the case over the last two years.