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She was fined RM20,000 for keeping the animal without a permit and RM7,000 for confining the baby sun bear in premises unconducive to the comfort and health of the wildlife. NSTP/MUHD ZAABA ZAKERIA
She was fined RM20,000 for keeping the animal without a permit and RM7,000 for confining the baby sun bear in premises unconducive to the comfort and health of the wildlife. NSTP/MUHD ZAABA ZAKERIA

KUALA LUMPUR: Singer Zarith Sofia Mohd Yasin, who allegedly kept a sun bear cub that she thought was a dog in her condominium last year was fined RM27,000 by the Sessions Court.

Judge Manirah Mohd Nor meted out the judgement after the 29-year-old accused changed her plea to guilty when her case was up for mention today.

She was fined RM20,000 for keeping the animal without a permit and RM7,000 for confining the baby sun bear in premises unconducive to the comfort and health of the wildlife.

Counsel Nik Muammer Hurrie Mohamad Shukri who represented the Johor Baru-born rocker, when pleading for lenience said his client did not have any previous criminal record.

“Her intention was only to rescue the animal and she did not have any intention to gain any profit from it.

“The animal was healthy when Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) confiscated it from my client,” he said.

However, Perhilitan prosecution officer Nazarudin Kamarudin asked the court to impose deterrent sentence against the accused.

“This will educate the public that keeping endangered species is a serious offence,” he said.

On June 12, Zarith Sofia pleaded not guilty to two counts of keeping and confining the endangered species at her home in Desa Pandan, here.

For the first charge, Zarith had allegedly kept a juvenile sun bear (Helarctos Malayanus), a totally protected species under the Second Schedule of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 (Act 716), without a special permit.

The charge under Section 69(1) of the Act carries a fine not exceeding RM200,000 or an imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years, or both, if convicted.

For the second charge, the Johor Baru-born rocker was accused of confining the baby sun bear in premises unconducive to the comfort and health of the wildlife.

The charge under Section 86(1)(c) of the Act carries a fine of not less than RM5,000 and not more than RM50,000, or an imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or both, if convicted.

The offences were allegedly committed in Desa Pandan about 8pm on June 6.

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