KAJANG: Former blogger Wan Azri Wan Deris – better known as Papagomo – was fined RM2,000 or three months’ jail after a magistrates’ court found him guilty of voluntarily causing hurt to former youth and sports minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman four years ago.
Wan Azri was also fined RM100 or one day’s jail under the Minor Offences Act 1955 for calling the Muar MP “stupid”, which the court ruled was tantamount to a breach of the peace.
Magistrate Noor Firdaus Rosli said the prosecution had proven both charges beyond reasonable doubt after the close of the defence’s case.
In relation to the charge of voluntarily causing hurt to Syed Saddiq, Firdaus ruled that Wan Azri had caused injury to the Muda founder’s neck and shoulder.
However, at the close of the prosecution’s case, Firdaus amended another charge brought against Wan Azri for outraging Syed Saddiq’s modesty to one of breach of the peace.
The former Umno Youth executive council member was found to have committed both offences at Persiaran Impian Perdana, Saujana Impian, here, at about 11am on Feb 16, 2019, after the nomination of candidates for a by-election in Semenyih.
In his 31-page judgment, the magistrate said that an election is a democratic process involving a fight for the popular vote, not one of physical violence.
He said by grabbing Syed Saddiq, Wan Azri had caused the Muda president pain although it only involved the movement of his fingers.
“The sentence should accordingly reflect the amount of force used. I find no reason to dig into the public purse and sanction the accused with a custodial sentence,” he said.
Firdaus also said that referring to someone as “bodoh” (stupid) was demeaning.
“In the context of the present case, a breach of peace is likely to be occasioned,” he said, adding that the accused’s claim that the word was often used in Parliament was “not a valid excuse”.
On being told that the accused had studied in a “sekolah pondok” (cottage school), Firdaus remarked that it was perhaps timely for Wan Azri to reflect on the saying that “a Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hand the people are safe”.
Lawyers Logen Eskander and Nik Saiful Adli Burhan Johari appeared for Wan Azri while deputy public prosecutors Hairuliqram Hairuddin, Nurul Afiqah Ghaffar and Norfarhanim Halim represented the prosecution.
Logen told FMT that his client paid the fine but would appeal the decision.