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'Basikal lajak' case: Clerk freed on bail, Malaysian court allows her application to appeal jail term

PUTRAJAYA — Sam Ke Ting, who was ordered to serve a six year jail term by a Johor Baru High Court Judge over the basikal lajak (modified bicycle) case, has been freed on bail.

The Malaysian Court of Appeal allowed Sam Ke Ting, 27, to be bailed after the prosecution said it had no objection to the application.
The Malaysian Court of Appeal allowed Sam Ke Ting, 27, to be bailed after the prosecution said it had no objection to the application.

PUTRAJAYA — Sam Ke Ting, who was ordered to serve a six year jail term by a Johor Baru High Court Judge over the basikal lajak (modified bicycle) case, has been freed on bail.

The Court of Appeal (COA) allowed the 27-year old to be bailed after Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Manoj Kurup said the prosecution had no objection to the application.

Noting that the case had garnered a lot of publicity, DPP Manoj said the prosecution had no objection to Sam's application and bail should be allowed.

"Sam is not a flight risk and we have no opposition to the application," he said.

A three member bench led by Justice P Ravinthran freed Sam on RM10,000 (S$3,200) bail with one surety and also allowed her application for a stay of execution and to file an appeal against the sentence and conviction.

The other judges on the bench were justices Lee Heng Cheong and Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali while Sam was represented by Mohd Faizal Mokhtar.

Others present in court on Monday (April 18) included Bar Council representative Ravinder Singh, who appeared as amicus curiae (a friend of the court) with the judges’ permission.

However, the judges disallowed a similar application from the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) and prominent lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah (on behalf of the Universiti Malaya Law Faculty alumni).

Sam had applied for leave to appeal against the High Court's decision after she was denied a stay of execution following her six years' jail and RM6,000 fine for reckless driving by Johor Baru High Court Judge Abu Bakar Katar.

The clerk, who had been charged with causing the death of eight cyclists at Jalan Lingkaran Dalam in Johor Baru at 3.20am on Feb 18, 2017, was acquitted and discharged by the magistrates' court on Oct 28, 2019 at the end of the prosecution's case without her defence being called.

The offence under Section 41 (1) of the Road Transport Act 1987 (Act 333) carries a maximum jail term of 10 years and a fine of RM20,000 upon conviction.

The eight victims were Azrie Danish Zulkefli, 14 (at the time of the incident); Shahrul Izzwan Azzuraimie, 14; Firdauz Danish Mohd Azhar, 16; Fauzan Halmijan, 13; Azhar Amir, 16; Harith Iskandar Abdullah, 14; Shahrul Nizam Marudin, 14; and Haizad Kasrin, 16.

However, on Feb 18, 2021, the Johor Baru High Court sent the case back to the magistrate's court asking Sam to enter her defence after allowing an appeal by the prosecution.

On Oct 10, 2021, the magistrates' court again acquitted and discharged her. The prosecution then appealed again to the High Court where she was convicted and jailed on April 13.

Justice Abu Bakar had ordered Sam to begin serving her jail sentence immediately after his ruling after denying her a stay of execution.

It was reported that Justice Abu Bakar convicted Sam after ruling that she had failed to put up a defence at the prosecution stage of her trial.

He said her unsworn statement from the dock after the court told her to enter her defence was a bare denial and an afterthought.

He added that the magistrate was wrong to accept her defence that she did not know that there were cyclists at the place during the wee hours and it gave her the latitude to drive recklessly.

He said Sam should have been aware that the accident scene was not brightly lit and one's vision was also limited.

"She should be aware of the risk of driving beyond the 50kmh speed limit," he added. NEW STRAITS TIMES

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