Double standards on ‘illegal’ DVD charge

Perak: MB, BN Adun open to similar illegal DVD charge
By Clara Chooi | The Malaysian Insider

IPOH, Sept 7 — With a Perak DAP assemblyman facing the possibility of being charged in court for his unapproved DVD production, the authorities seem to have found themselves caught in a Catch-22 situation.

Questions now center on whether they would eventually be forced to slap similar charges on Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abd Kadir and MCA’s Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon for allegedly committing a similar crime.

If so, this would mean the duo would also face the possibility of losing their state seats should the courts find them guilty.

The Malaysian Insider understands that it is likely that they too had failed to obtain approval from the Film Censorship Board prior to their DVD production of the tumultuous May 7 assembly sitting.

According to past reports, Dr Mah, who is also a state executive councillor, announced in May last year that the BN government would distribute a whopping 50,000 copies of the DVD to the public.

The purpose of the production was to counter the Pakatan Rakyat’s claims that they had been mistreated during the controversial May 7 sitting, during which DAP’s Tronoh assemblyman V. Sivakumar was famously forced out of the Speaker’s chair.

When contacted today an evasive Dr Mah refused to answer questions on the matter.

He only offered that the BN government was aware of the need to obtain approval from the board prior to the distribution of any production.

“We know. We were advised about it,” he claimed.

However when asked to confirm if he had obtained any certification to legalise his production, Dr Mah kept mum.

“I have no comment. I do not have to comment on all of your questions. I can choose not to answer,” he said, sounding upset.

Dr Mah’s defensive response has triggered Perak’s PR representatives into action.

Nga Kor Ming, who was formerly a state executive councillor when PR helmed Perak, told The Malaysian Insider that the state PR Youth would soon lodge a police report against both Zambry and Dr Mah for their production.

“We will lodge a report against them for printing and distributing 50,000 copies of the state assembly DVDs to the public. It was announced by them on May 29,” he said.

When contacted, Perak police chief Deputy Commissioner Datuk Pahlawan Zulkifli Abdullah confirmed with The Malaysian Insider that no investigation had been done so far against Zambry or Dr Mah over the DVDs.

“Whatever reports we received during that time, we launched investigations. So if there were none, then we would not have investigated them,” he said.

DCP Zulkifli gave his assurance, however, that the police would launch an investigation if the PR lodged a report on the matter.

“We are very fair. If there is a report, we will investigate. We will go through it and if there are elements of criminality, for sure we will conduct an investigation,” he promised.

DAP’s Tebing Tinggi assemblyman Ong Boon Piow presently faces the possibility of being charged with the possession of 23 copies of unapproved film material, entitled “BN’s Power Grab in Perak”, under Section 6(1)(a) of the Film Censorship Act 2002.

He had produced the DVD shortly after the May 3 ‘tree assembly’ sitting and had aired a preview of it during a ceramah on March 29 last year.

Shortly after the ceramah, Ong was detained by the police and questioned over his allegedly illegal production of the DVD.

According to Ong, this was because he had failed to obtain the “B” certificate from the Film Censorship Board, which was mandatory under the law.

If convicted, Ong faces automatic disqualification from his seat and the state would have to hold its first by-election for a state seat since Election 2008.

This is because the charge stipulates that Ong faces a fine of not less than RM5,000 and not more than RM30,000 or a jail term of not more than three years, or both, upon conviction.

Article 48 of the Federal Constitution states that an elected representative is disqualified from his seat if he is convicted of an offence and sentenced to an imprisonment for a term of not less than one year or to a fine of not less than RM2,000.

The charges against Ong were temporarily deferred today.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Mark Netto said outside court that the matter had been deferred due to instructions from the state prosecution chief. It is believed that the prosecution is now awaiting orders from the Attorney-General’s Chambers. No reason for the deferment was given.

PR lawmakers have mocked the prosecution for its sudden about-turn, claiming that it was because they were aware that by charging Ong, they would have to charge both Zambry and Dr Mah as well for the same crime.

Nga pointed out that the Federal Constitution stipulates that all men were equal before the law.

“That means everyone has to be accorded equal treatment. No one is above the law,” he said.

  1. #1 by dcasey on Tuesday, 7 September 2010 - 7:26 pm

    Another incidence of shooting their own foot, stupid b**t*rds. Just like that MACC court jester in penguin suit. These ppl can’t do anything right….imperative to get rid of them for sake of Malaysia.

  2. #2 by Cinapek on Tuesday, 7 September 2010 - 8:19 pm

    So another screw up? No problem. Surprise! Surprise! Just backdate the approval. If a purported suicide note can appear months later in the TBH inquest, backdating such an approval is chicken feed. After all, this is Malaysia Boleh!

  3. #3 by PoliticoKat on Tuesday, 7 September 2010 - 8:34 pm

    The Attorney-General should be firm!

    If it says it will prosecute, it should follow through with action. Now it sounds like a jelly fish and can’t be taken seriously.

    Go for it! The law is the law. No compromise! Smack down all three politicians. Perak needs a new state elections. The chubby zombie has got to go.

  4. #4 by yhsiew on Tuesday, 7 September 2010 - 8:56 pm

    The issue here is not so much whether a certificate had been obtained for the DVD production but rather, a partial legal justice system which practices premeditated, selective prosecution which is worrying, as it could drive away prospective foreign investors.

  5. #5 by feruz on Tuesday, 7 September 2010 - 10:06 pm

    Damn! I just bought a brand new video-cam. Was thinking about taking video shot during this Hari Raya of my family – parents, beloved atoks, siblings, nephews and nieces, uncles and aunties.

    Once I finished editing – was thinking burn to DVD and distribute among the relatives?

    “Hallo! Hallo! , Mr. Policeman … do I need some kind of license for such production. Of course, I have to sell to them, one DVD nowadays is RM 2.00 during Hari Raya mah”

  6. #6 by HJ Angus on Tuesday, 7 September 2010 - 11:19 pm

    Let us hope there is no interference from anyone regarding the police investigations.
    There should be no double standards as far as the law is concerned.

  7. #7 by cseng on Tuesday, 7 September 2010 - 11:21 pm

    Looks like fairness is racist too, so we have to be selective.

  8. #8 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 7 September 2010 - 11:25 pm

    Case postponed 2 give Ong BP some time 2 think abt his political future: 2 jump or not 2 jump; jump n all charges will b dropped, may even get Datukship

  9. #9 by waterfrontcoolie on Wednesday, 8 September 2010 - 12:23 am

    The suicidal tendency of BN cannot be much clearer than such naive behaviour! are you taking Malaysians to be nuts ot what? By now I believe those like me who is not member of of any party would be forced to think carefully begore voting least I be taken for being malaysian fools!!!!

  10. #10 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 8 September 2010 - 1:12 am

    Yes, indeed, cheerfully UmnoB/BN trust dat there r enuf fools who will continue 2 vote 4 them in d next GE
    No believe? Watch d results of d next GE lah, UmnoB/BN still remain in Putrajaya
    Some more now PKR so much in-fightings in d coming UmnoB-style party election
    Drama, lies, attacks n counter attacks, self implosion n mutilation

  11. #11 by dagen on Wednesday, 8 September 2010 - 8:49 am

    No. Umno has that special hat. And out of that special hat anything may be pulled.

    U nak permit NAH kasi U permit. U nak approval NAH sini dia approval. Apa lagi mau. Semua pun ada. Bila bila pun ada. Masa pun boleh pilih. Betul. Nak approval utk tahun 2000? Eh tu dah lepas tu. Tak apa. Sama saja. No problem.

  12. #12 by k1980 on Wednesday, 8 September 2010 - 10:00 am

    Section 6(1)(a) of the Film Censorship Act 2002 will today be amended so that umno members, as the ruling party, will automatically be given the “B” certificate from the Film Censorship Board. All they need to do is to pay RM0.05 sen in licencing fees.

  13. #13 by dagen on Wednesday, 8 September 2010 - 12:04 pm

    Oh yes zambry and mah too would be charged and convicted if the dap guy was convicted. Sure thing. Only problem is they will get lesser punishment. Not enough to see them out of action.

  14. #14 by Peter on Wednesday, 8 September 2010 - 1:38 pm

    There is completely no integrity of our current bunch of guys running our judiciary. The general rakyat do not trust them.Just look at the verdicts at most cases recently..
    I can bet they will try to sideline the case against DAP just to help their UMNO masters. That golliwog mamak MB and his cronies from Perak will be vindicate eventually. Our “great” judiciary will dilly dally the case in the hope rakyat will forget the whole episode just like TBH and the Mongolian woman brutal murder to mention a few.
    This is Bolehland

  15. #15 by piazza on Thursday, 9 September 2010 - 11:49 am

    They have suddenly found out that they missed a step, so someone is working at the back, making sure the MB and Dr are well covered before they continue with the suit against the DAP, no worry, a back-dated approval letter from the film censorship board is not too much of a problem.

  16. #16 by piazza on Thursday, 9 September 2010 - 11:52 am

    suiside letter can come out a year late, why not an approval letter?

  17. #17 by boh-liao on Friday, 10 September 2010 - 10:32 am

    What abt CSL – how many copies of his famous DVD does he hv 4 distribution (4 sex education purpose)?

  18. #18 by joean on Saturday, 11 September 2010 - 12:07 pm

    “What abt CSL – how many copies of his famous DVD does he hv 4 distribution (4 sex education purpose)?”

    hey… “boh-liao”, you gotta know, he was Health Minister during the publication. That was official release of sex education DVD, of course including the BJ.

    Only after u watch this DVD, BJ will be legal, else it is illegal in Malaysia.

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