SHAH ALAM,: “Don’t just think of yourselves, please consider the safety of others, especially the frontliners. This is a contagious disease. Don’t take this order lightly, please stay at home.”

This was the advice of Datuk Norsharidah Awang, the Shah Alam High Court Judicial Commissioner, to 17 offenders who flouted the ongoing Movement Control Order (MCO) imposed by the government from March 18, to contain COVID-19.

Norsharidah said this in her ruling today on the applications made by the 17 individuals for a revision of the 14-day jail sentence they had previously received at the Kajang Magistrates Court for gathering in a condominium unit at Kondominium Amerin in Taming Jaya, Kajang on April 3 at 12.35 am.

The judicial commissioner today reduced the 14-day jail term to 10 days.

She said that if the courts did not impose a heavy sentence, members of the public would continue to flout the MCO and not pay heed to the government’s instructions to stay at home.

“I hope that your time in prison has been a lesson to all of you. Don’t commit this offence again. You will all be freed today,” Norsharidah told the offenders.

All 17 including two women, aged between 22 and 34 years, thanked the court as soon as the judicial commissioner had made her ruling.

The court had earlier heard submissions from Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Wan Shahida Wan Omar, as well as lawyers K.A. Ramu, Kirthiraj Rajasundram and Jabir-Abdullah Amir who represented the 17 offenders.

The lawyers had filed an application for revision to the High Court to substitute the sentence of imprisonment with a community service order or a reduction in the term of imprisonment or a fine. 

On April 8, each of the 17 individuals had been sentenced to 14 days in prison by the Kajang Magistrates Court after they had pleaded guilty to flouting the MCO by being away from their homes without valid reasons.

Magistrate Muhammad Noor Firdaus Rosli had ordered the sentences to run from the date of arrest on April 3.

They had been charged under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within the Infected Local Areas) Regulations 2020 which provides for a maximum prison term of six months or a fine of up to RM1,000 or both.

According to the facts of the case, police received a tip-off from members of the public who had complained of noise coming from a condominium unit.

Upon arriving at the scene, police found 15 men and four women including two teenagers aged 17 years, in the unit.

The teenagers also pleaded guilty to the same offence but the Magistrates Court postponed sentencing until their respective social reports are scheduled to be received from the Social Welfare Department on May 14. The teenagers were released on RM500 bail each.