Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Uthaya released after 12 hrs

'Cow-head' protesters to face charges - Malaysiakini

Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail today said that he would be charging those who took part in the 'cow-head' protest 10 days ago.
"I have decided to charge those who carried (the cow head) and spoke while stepping on the cow head under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act, alternatively under Section 298 of the Penal Code," said Abdul Gani in a statement today.

He added that all the demonstrators will also face another charge under Section 27(5) of the Police Act for illegal assembly. [see below for details of the sections]

He said that the decision was based on the investigation paper submitted by the police to him this afternoon.

"I am satisfied based on the facts and evidence gathered by the police that the demonstrators should be taken to court," he said.

The investigation paper was the result of a two-week long police investigation into the protest which has put Malaysia on the international stage for the wrong reason after public outcry over the issue.

Abdul Gani however did not state when the charges would be preferred against the demontrators. He also did not reveal the number of people to be charged.

New site identified

On Aug 28, the demonstrators, residents of Shah Alam's Section 23, marched to the state secretariat to protest the proposed relocation of the Sri Maha Mariamman Hindu temple from nearby Section 19.

They were reportedly unhappy that the 150-year-old temple is to be relocated in the Malay-Muslim majority neighbourhood.

The protest turned sour when several unidentified men came forward with a dismembered cow's head and placed it in front of the building gates.

Several individuals then proceeded to spit and step upon the animal's head while uttering threats apparently directed at Selangor executive councillor for health, plantation workers, poverty and caring government Dr Xavier Jayakumar

An attempt by the the state government to hold a dialogue with the residents last Saturday turned rowdly (photo, above) when the residents vehemently objected to the temple being relocated to their neighbourhood.

Following this the state government shelved the plan to relocate the temple but today announced that another site has been found in Section 23 for the relocation.