Yesterday, dance producer Bilqis Hijjas was acquitted over a charge of behaving in an insulting manner in public for dropping yellow balloons at an event attended by the prime minister and his wife two years ago.
Bilqis, the daughter of prominent architect Hijjas Kasturi, was accused of dropping the balloons with the words ‘democracy’, ‘free media’ and ‘justice’ on them from the 5th floor of the Pavilion mall in Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, at 3.15pm on Aug 31, 2015.
In clearing her of the charge, magistrate Muhammad Faizal Ismail said Bilqis’ claim that she only dropped the balloons to attract Najib’s attention to uphold constitutional principles was never challenged by the prosecution.
He said the prosecution had failed to prove that Bilqis had hurt anyone by her actions, adding that her testimony made previously has been consistent.
“As a conclusion, the court is in view that the accused has given a consistent statement all the while. The accused also has followed all orders from police and security there.
“After taking into consideration everything, the court has decided that the accused is freed and acquitted of all charges,” the magistrate said.
When met outside the courtroom, an elated Bilqis said she hoped there will be no second appeal from the government.
“I am very pleased. It has taken two years to get here. Thankful to my lawyers to fight this long fight.
“The point has been made, symbolic resistance is possible. I hope people will take heart from this,” the ecstatic 38-year-old told reporters.
Bilqis claimed trial for the offence under Section 14 of the Minor Offences Act 1955, which carries a fine of not more than RM100, upon conviction.
On July 1, a magistrate’s court acquitted her of the charge without her defence being called, but the prosecution appealed against that decision.
On Oct 3, the High Court reversed the decision and called for a retrial. Bilqis was ordered to enter her defence, which she did on Nov 7.
Earlier report: Oct 4, Dance Producer to Answer Charge for Releasing Balloons at PM’s Function