Section 509 of the Penal Code that criminalises insulting one’s modesty only applies to sexual offences, PKR lawmaker Chua Tian Chang’s lawyer argued today at the Sessions Court here.
Latheefa Koya also argued that the prosecution had failed to prove that Chua, who was charged under Section 509, had intended to insult the male officer in question, Deputy Superintendent (DSP) Glenn A. Sinappah.
“Firstly, we will bring to court to show that Section 509, under which is the accusation is brought upon our client, must only be used in cases of molest or sexual misconduct.
“The whole object of Section 509 is to deal with cases where the nature of the offence lies in molest or sexual misconduct.
“‘Bastard’, ‘stupid police’ and one word I don’t want to repeat — that does not constitute sexual offences,” Latheefa said in her defence.
She also argued that there was no proof that Chua, known as Tian Chua, had uttered the derogatory words against the officer.
The case presented in the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court today was in relation to a charge brought against the PKR vice-president for allegedly uttering derogatory words against Glenn in 2014, after the officer forcefully confiscated Chua’s handphone in a hotel.
In the incident at Armada Hotel, the Batu MP was said to have used swear words towards the officer in a bid to retrieve his handphone.
Latheefa also questioned the credibility of Glenn, who was one of the few senior police officers against whom the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) had recommended disciplinary action for attempting to falsify information in the 2013 death of N. Dharmendran in police custody.
She further questioned the absence of CCTV evidence to support the charge brought against Chua and the credibility of the witnesses who testified against the lawmakers, who were all subordinates of Glenn.
“All the prosecution’s witnesses were police officers who were present on the day of the incident under command of the complainant. Therefore they are interested witnesses. There were also no proofs like CCTV, or witnesses who can be seen as independent,” she added.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Suhaimi Ibrahim in his argument meanwhile argued that the words uttered by Chua cannot be construed as being non-sexual.
“My learned friend said those words are not supposed to humiliate the dignity of a man. Our contention is to look at it as a person and not male or female.
“If that (derogatory words) can be accepted as an offence against a woman, why not to a man where even laws have accepted the fact?
“I would like to say here, though it doesn’t have clear sexual tendencies, but what was said surely has insulted a person’s dignity. What more for a police officer doing his duty. If someone utters that word to me, I too would feel hurt,” Suhaimi counter-argued.
He also questioned Chua’s choice of words in attempting to get back his handphone, arguing that the former had other choice of words, but instead chose insulting ones, purely aimed at insulting the modesty of Glenn.
On Glenn’s credibility, Suhaimi argued that there is no proposition of law to say that a convicted person cannot be trusted and that Glenn’s credibility has to be assessed purely from the current case.
“Which means the court has to assess based on this case. What happened in other cases does not have a connection, link or relevancy to this. Court has to assess his credibility in this case,” he said.
On Latheefa’s argument on the absence of a CCTV evidence to support Chua’s charge, Suhaimi said that the “best evidence” is the person who were present at the scene of the incident.
“The best evidence is not the CCTV. The best evidence is the person involved in the scene.”
If convicted, Chua risks facing a maximum five-year imprisonment, or fined or both.
Sessions Court judge Yasmin Abdul Razak then fixed February 13 for a decision on the case.
Source : YISWAREE PALANSAMY @ The Malay Mail Online