Labourer charged with defiling surau, stealing statue of deity

Helmee Othman being brought to court in Klang today. (Bernama pic)

KLANG: A labourer was today charged in two Magistrate’s Courts with two counts of defiling a surau and one of stealing the statue of a deity last week.

Helmee Othman, 38, was first charged before magistrate Roslizi Sulaiman with defiling Surau Sabilul Huda in Taman Pandamar Indah, Port Klang, between 4pm and 4.15pm on Feb 20.

He was also charged before Roslizi with stealing the statue belonging to one Cheong Lin Chai, 51, at a house in Pandaraman near here between 4pm and 9.30pm on the same day.

After the charge of defiling the surau was read out to him, Helmee pleaded guilty but his lawyer, Nur Aida Md Zainuddin, applied to the court for her client to be subjected to a sanity test before accepting the guilty plea.

DPP Mohd Fairuz Johari said there was no documentary evidence at this stage to support the fact that the accused had mental problems but added that he would leave it to the court to make a decision.

Roslizi then ordered Helmee to be sent to Hospital Bahagia in Tanjong Rambutan, Perak, for a month for a mental state examination.

He also fixed March 27 for the mention of the case.

Later, Helmee was charged before magistrate Muhammad ‘Azzam Zainal Abidin with defiling the same surau between 2.30pm and 2.45pm on Feb 23.

‘Azzam also fixed March 27 for the mention of the case.

The charge was under Section 295 of the Penal Code for defiling a place of worship with intent to insult the religion.

The offence is punishable with a maximum jail term of two years or a fine, or both, upon conviction.

It was reported last Monday that police had arrested a man after finding three statues of deities at the surau.

Klang Selatan district police chief Shamsul Amar Ramli reportedly said the man had admitted to having learned deviant religious teachings in a neighbouring country.