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“I Feel Guilty, I Want To See Imam,” Says Man Who Slapped Imam

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KUALA LUMPUR: “I feel guilty, I want to see imam, I want to ask sorry (forgiveness). Can you call imam to come here? I feel very guilty.”

These were the words of Shabir Ahmad Khan, 31, an Indian national who slapped the imam of Masjid Negara during Friday prayers, two weeks ago.

Shabir, who was in the dock at the Magistrate’s Court, was also seen patting his cheeks a few times while the charges were read out to him in English by a court interpreter before Magistrate Siti Radziah Kamarudin.

He faces three charges, namely causing physical injury to the imam, disrupting Friday prayers, and staying in Malaysia beyond the validity of his social visit pass.

Shabir, who worked as a personal driver, initially pleaded guilty to all the charges read out to him, but his plea was not accepted by the magistrate after he seemed to look confused.

When Siti Radziah asked the accused whether he was aware that he was in a courtroom and charged with hurting the imam, the accused nodded and said: “Because I slapped the imam.”

As she was not satisfied with the plea of the accused who appeared to be in a state of confusion, constantly bowing his head and expressing regret, Siti Radziah ordered Shabir to be sent to Hospital Bahagia Ulu Kinta in Tanjung Rambutan, Perak, to undergo mental examination for a month.

The court fixed Oct 30 for remention of the case.

On the first count, Shabir was charged with deliberately causing injury to the imam of Masjid Negara, Mohd Zuhairee Mohd Yatim, 39. The offence under Section 323 of the Penal Code carries a prison term of up to a year, or a fine not exceeding RM2,000, or both, if convicted.

On the second count, he was charged with causing disturbance during Friday prayers, under Section 296 of the Penal Code, which carries a maximum jail term of one year or a fine, or both.

The accused was charged with committing both offences at Masjid Negara, Jalan Perdana, here, at 1.30pm, on Sept 18 this year.

Shabir was also charged with staying on in Malaysia after the expiry of his social visit pass on July 17. The offence under Section 15(1)(c) of the Immigration Act 1959/1963 (2002 Amendment) carries a fine of not less than RM10,000 or imprisonment for a minimum of five years, or both.

ASP Nom Phot Prackdit appeared for the prosecution, while the accused was not represented by a counsel.– BERNAMA

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