Penang Buddha statue thief sorry and begs for forgiveness

GEORGE TOWN - The man who stole the Reclining Buddha statue said he was repentant and would hold a special prayer at the temple to ask for forgiveness.

When the charge was read out to him, Lim Keng Liang pleaded guilty at once. Lawyer R. Puran told the court that his client wants to hold the special prayer soon.

He said his client, an antique dealer, was remorseful.

"He helps out with his father's business and also needs to take care of his father. He has no prior conviction," Puran told a magistrate's court here yesterday.

Su-Quinn, a company executive, also pleaded guilty to the offence, which happened on Dec 11 at 8.30am.

The charge under Section 379 of the Penal Code for theft carries a jail term of up to seven years, a fine or both, upon conviction.

Lawyer Jeffrey Ooi, who represented Su-Quinn, said it was her first offence and she co-operated with the police when she was remanded for four days.

DPP Atiqah Abdul Karim urged the court to mete out an appropriate punishment as a public lesson.

"I understand that the statue is expensive. Besides, the incident has become a matter of public interest, since it took place at a place of worship," she said.

It was reported that the white marble statue has been in the temple for more than 90 years and is estimated to be worth more than RM10,000.

A man and a woman were captured on a security camera stealing the foot-long statue on Dec 11, but the statue's disappearance was only detected last Wednesday.

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