Siti Nuramira Abdullah, who was at the centre of a controversial stand-up comedy act issue, has been fined RM8,000 in default four months’ jail by the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court.
Sessions judge N Priscilla Hemamalini meted out the sentence after Siti Nuramira, 27, pleaded guilty to an alternative charge under Section 298 of the Penal Code on Monday (April 17).
For the alternative charge, Siti Nuramira was accused of deliberately wounding the religious feelings of others during a stand-up comedy act.
The offence was committed at Crackhouse Comedy Club, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, at about 6pm on June 4.
Siti Nuramira initially faced more severe punishment with the original charge under Section 298A of the Penal Code for allegedly causing disharmony, disunity, or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill will, or prejudicing the maintenance of harmony or unity, on grounds of religion, which carried imprisonment of between two and five years upon conviction.
She pleaded not guilty when she was first charged on July 13.
Earlier, deputy public prosecutor Abdul Malik Ayob informed the court that the accused was offered the alternative charge following the decision by the Attorney General’s Chambers to accept her March 16 representation letter.
“Her action received widespread attention in the country.
“Malaysia is a multiracial country with different races and religions. To keep the harmony, nobody should act in a way that can hurt the feelings of other people of any religion or disturb any religion.
“The accused could have performed a stand-up (routine) without referring to any religion because religion should not be made into comedy material,” he said.
The prosecution said the sentence should fit the offence and left it to the court to decide.
Meanwhile, Siti Nuramira’s lawyer R Sivaraj asked for a lenient sentence on the grounds that his client did not have a prior conviction.
“Her guilty plea has saved the court’s time and cost and therefore she is entitled to a discount in her punishment.
“After she was charged, she was not involved in any stand-up comedy act nor any related offences. She also does not keep a social media account anymore and stays away from controversy,” he said.
Sivaraj added that the case became a hot topic last year, causing a drastic change in his client’s lifestyle, mental health and social relationships.
He said Siti Nuramira’s 10-day experience in jail also served as a lesson to her.
“She is remorseful and apologises for her actions,” the lawyer said. – The Star