PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Advancement Party (MAP) has criticised a Bukit Mertajam magistrates’ court decision to allow the remand of a cowherd for allegedly obstructing a public servant, and urged the High Court to intervene.
In a statement, MAP information chief Mathavan Velayutham also slammed the Seberang Perai City Council (MBSP) over its “ferocious” treatment of two cows that were seized as part of a routine operation to round up strays.
“Cow-herding is his family’s source of income. Seizing the cows may affect his livelihood.
“The city council should have issued fines if the cows had strayed instead of acting in an insensitive and cruel manner,” Mathavan said.
He added that the 44-year-old cowherd was arrested and remanded for two days after pleading with city council officers to release the cattle.
“The magistrate should have applied common sense and been more sensitive to the feelings of an ordinary person. Since when has pleading to officers become a crime?” asked Mathavan.
Questioning why a two-day remand was necessary for such a petty issue, he said the magistrate should have just ordered police to take the man’s statement before immediately releasing him.
“The remand of the poor man is a clear misuse of judicial powers. I call upon the High Court judge to exercise his inherent powers of revision, pursuant to Section 323 of the Criminal Procedure Code,” he added.
On Tuesday, a series of videos taken by a cowherd showed MBSP veterinary enforcement officers dragging an unconscious cow with a lasso around its neck into a lorry.
Another was seen dragging a cow by its tail. It was learnt that the cows had been tranquilised and had their legs tied.
In a statement, MBSP said the cattle were seized along Jalan Baru in Perai as part of a routine operation to rid strays which posed a danger to the public and motorists.
The city council said the two cows were in good health at the animal pound and that enforcement officers had adhered to SOPs and council by-laws concerning stray animals.