Alor Setar, 22nd – A group of SPM graduates and 19 other individuals faced charges in court today for allegedly gathering illegally to participate in “fish, shrimp, and crab betting” activities within an oil palm plantation. Following their guilty pleas, all defendants were fined varying amounts between RM1,500 and RM4,000.
The group of 20 defendants consisted of 5 Thai men, 5 Thai women, 9 Malay men, and 1 Chinese man, with ages ranging from 18 to 78 years old. They were accused of unlawfully assembling for “fish, shrimp, and crab betting” on June 14, 2023, at approximately 7:15 p.m. This act contravenes Section 7(2) of the Public Gambling Act 1953, read under Section 34 of the Penal Code, which carries a maximum penalty of a fine not exceeding RM10,000, imprisonment for up to 12 months, or both upon conviction.
Upon hearing the charges, all defendants entered guilty pleas. Represented by five lawyers—Saidina, Umi, Siti Maja, Zulia, and Wenliang—they appealed to Judge Zuhaimi to consider reducing the fines. The defense lawyers highlighted various circumstances, including the advanced age and illnesses of some defendants, the need to support their families, and the unstable income of others. Notably, one of the defendants, an 18-year-old SPM graduate from a single-parent household, was mentioned, as well as a 68-year-old Chinese defendant with four children and a monthly income of only RM1,500 who worked as a laborer.
Judge Zuhirmi took into account the criminal records of the first defendant, Onni, the second defendant, Tian, and the second defendant, Avizu Leidi. Eventually, each defendant received a fine ranging from RM1,500 to RM4,000. In cases where defendants are unable to pay the fine, imprisonment for a period of 3 to 6 months will be imposed as a substitute.
The proceedings shed light on the consequences faced by those involved in illegal gambling activities and the importance of adhering to the laws governing such practices. The court’s decision aimed to balance the penalties imposed with the defendants’ circumstances, considering factors such as age, financial situations, and previous criminal records. This incident serves as a reminder of the legal ramifications associated with unlawful gambling and emphasizes the need for responsible behavior within the community.
The court’s ruling serves as a deterrent to individuals who may be tempted to engage in illegal gambling, highlighting the importance of abiding by the law and promoting a society based on legal and ethical principles.