By Farah Solhi | New Straits Times
The Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (MUDA) Secretary-General Amir Hariri Abd Hadi has claimed trial to a charge of failing to notify the authorities about the #ManaKapalLCS protest held in town, recently.
The 31-year-old pleaded not guilty after he was charged before magistrate Fardiana Haryanti Ahmad Razali this morning.
MUDA President Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman and other party members were present in court in a show of solidarity.
The accused was charged under section 9(1) of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, which carries a maximum RM10,000 fine upon conviction.
Article 9(1) of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 states that organisers must notify the authorities in advance before holding a public assembly.
Amir was alleged to have been involved in organising a protest in front of Sogo, within Dang Wangi district, around 2pm on Aug 14.
However, he, as the organiser, was alleged to have failed to notify police about the protest five days before the event took place.
Deputy Public Prosecutors Mohd Radzi Shah Ab Razak and Fatin Hanum Abdul Hadi requested for the court to order a RM10,000 bail on the accused and impose a gag order, restricting him from posting any comments about the court’s proceedings on social media.
However, lawyer Beatrice Chin Yuen Xin, who represented the accused, pleaded for the court to impose a bail amount between RM500 and RM1,000, seeing that this was her client’s first offence and he had cooperated with the authorities throughout their investigation on the matter.
The court then ordered a RM4,000 bail on the accused and fixed Nov 3 for case mention.
It was reported that a group of protesters had taken to the streets on Aug 14, pressing the government to answer about the Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) worth RM6 billion, which have yet to be delivered to the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN).
The protest was held following the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee report which disclosed that RMN’s first state-of-the-art LCS was not yet completed when it was launched in 2017 and that the committee’s proceedings found that LCS 1 was less than 44 per cent completed at the time of the launch.
On the day of the protest, Dang Wangi police chief Assistant Commissioner Noor Dellhan Yahaya was reported as saying that the police have opened an investigation paper on the rally under section 9(5) of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 for holding an assembly without notice and that they had summoned 13 individuals related to the protest to give their statements.