Four charged, face death penalty under Kidnapping Act

SHAH ALAM (July 22, 2013): Four men, who allegedly scrawled the words "Saya hina agama Islam" (I insulted Islam) on the chest of a cyber cafe worker they thought was connected to a controversial Facebook posting relating to Islam, were charged in the magistrate's court here today with kidnapping him.

Mohamad Asri Mohamad Jamil, 22, Mohd Mazli Sazeli, 26, Zulkarnain Abdul Rahman, 29, and Agus Hariyanto Mahmod Hosen, 27, were charged with committing the offence involving Ng Mun Tatt, 21, at Restoran Muneer in Section 25, Shah Alam at 4.30am on July 15.

They were charged with two others still at large with abducting Ng for the purpose of obtaining a RM3,000 ransom.

The charge, under Section 3 of the Kidnapping Act 1961, carries a penalty of life imprisonment with caning or even the death penalty.

No plea was recorded in the proceedings, which were keenly followed by the public due to the publicity that Ng received after the alleged incident.

It is understood that Asri is a technician, Mazli a tomoi (martial arts) coach, Zulkarnain a building maintenance worker and Agus a petty trader.

The scene at the magistrate's court was an emotional one today morning as family members of the four men were seen talking to them with some women crying.

Lawyer Shaharudin Ali, who represented Mazli, Zulkarnain and Agus, told magistrate Nurul Syahida Zainal that his clients had complained of injuries while in custody. Asri was represented by Ridha Abdah Subri. Deputy Public Prosecutor Siti Rohaida Che Hamid prosecuted.

Nurul told the prosecution to ensure that Mazli and Agus received medical examination before setting Aug 16 for mention of the case.

As the accused left court, they were heard chanting "Allahuakbar" (God is great).

The case of the kidnapping and assault of Ng came to the fore after it was reported that his case may be related to bloggers Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee, who were thrust into national prominence with their controversial greeting to Muslims featuring bak kut teh, a pork-based dish.

Ng's picture was published by some newspapers besides being widely circulated on the internet.

Ng had, since the alleged kidnapping, denied that the abduction and assault were connected to Alvin and Vivian's posting.

He had alleged that he was having a drink with his girlfriend, Rachel Leong, 16, at a shop when two men approached them.

He claimed that he was dragged to a waiting car where he was allegedly assaulted, blindfolded and taken to an apartment.