Crime & Courts

Chaos in court as senior citizen refuses to enter plea in viral mosque case [NSTTV]

GEORGE TOWN: A senior citizen, who went viral causing disturbance at Masjid Jamek Ar-Rahman in Batu Ferringhi last Tuesday, was charged at the magistrate's court here today.

However, no plea was recorded from Sofiah Abdul Majid, 65, when the charge was read to her by the court interpreter.

She created a stir in court when she refused to answer as to whether she understood the charge against her.

"It's all lies. How can I understand lies? It's common sense. I don't agree to the charge.

"That was not what I said. It's fabricated," she told the court.

Magistrate Nadratun Naim Mohd Saidi, the court interpreter and the police had to stop her several times from disrupting today's proceedings.

Nadratun then ordered for the accused to be referred to the mental hospital.

"From the court's observation, the accused is in an unstable state.

"As such, the court orders for her to be referred to the mental hospital for observation under Section 324 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

"The accused will be brought back to the court again on April 19 with findings from the observation," she said.

Sofiah was earlier charged under Section 298 of the Penal Code for uttering words with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person.

The offence carries maximum one year improper or with a fine or both, upon conviction.

State prosecution director Mohd Nordin Ismail, who prosecuted, told the court that the accused was referred for psychiatric observation and due for a second visit.

He said, at this stage, if the court deemed fit, it could refer the accused for further observation under Section 324 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Section 342 involves a lengthy evaluation process that may take up to a month in a designated psychiatric hospital.

"It is up to the court. I will not make any application," he added.

Mohd Nordin also said there was no finding obtained from the first visit.

Earlier, Sofiah raised her legs twice to kick at photographers who were taking her photographs.

It was reported that police detained a woman last Sunday to assist investigations into a report lodged by the mosque committee after she caused disturbance in the mosque.

Police detained the woman, who is said to be suffering from mental health issues, after she was handed over to them by family members.

Video footage showed a woman entering the men's prayer area and asking those inside what was deemed impolite questions.

The woman, who was not properly dressed, had previously informed a congregation member that the muezzin and imam's voices were too loud and disturbing the neighbourhood.

This was the third time the woman had complained about the voices of the muezzin and imam.

Previously, she had sent a letter to the management of the mosque, claiming that the azan was disturbing her sleep.

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