Crime & Courts

Hawker jailed one day, fined RM12,000 for abusing dog

BUKIT MERTAJAM: A hawker, caught on video dragging a dog on the road with his motorcycle last November, was sentenced to a day's jail after he pleaded guilty to the offence at the magistrate's court here today.

Magistrate Mohd Harith Mohd Mazlan also fined Tan Chee Keong, 45, RM12,000 in default of six months' jail.

"The court finds you guilty of the offence.

"You are hereby sentenced to a day's jail and RM12,000 fine. If you fail to pay the fine, you will be jailed for another six months," Mohd Harith told Tan.

Earlier, Tan pleaded guilty to the charge which was read out to him by the court interpreter in Hokkien.

He admitted to causing pain to a female brown mongrel by dragging her on the road using a 182cm chain while riding on his motorcycle at Jalan Sukun Indah 1, Taman Sukun Indah here on Nov 21, last year.

The charge was framed under Section 44(1)(d) of the Animals Act 1953, which carries a fine of not more than RM50,000, a maximum one-year imprisonment, or both upon conviction.

Tan, represented by counsel from the Yayasan Bantuan Guaman Kebangsaan (National Legal Aid Foundation), Anas Hakimi, pleaded for a minimum fine, saying that he had to care for his eight-year-old child and semi-paralysed wife.

He said Tan used to work as a hawker but stopped for the past two months as he was traumatised by the whole incident.

"Since then, he has not been making ends meet.

"He regretted his action," he said, pleading for a social service punishment.

Veterinary Services Department (VSD) prosecuting officer Roziman Awang Tahrin urged the court to set a stern punishment which serves as a lesson to all due to the sensitivity of the case.

"This is a viral case and of public interest.

"We need to also look after the welfare of the animal," he said.

According to the facts of the case, a member of the public had come across a Facebook post at 10.30am on Nov 21, last year, showing a dog being tied and dragged on the road using a motorcycle by a man.

Based on the video footage, the incident happened about 12.06am the same day.

The individual then lodged a police report.

Following that, the accused was detained at 7.30pm the same day before being handed to the DVS for remand and further investigation.

The accused was subsequently released on bail.

The dog, when found, was injured and traumatised.

Today, the dog was brought to court and has since recovered from its injuries.

It is learnt that Tan's neighbours have raised money for his release.

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