Retiree gets jail and fine for posing as VIP

Retiree gets jail and fine for posing as VIP

JOHOR BARU - A 58-year-old retiree thought that he could use a VIP's name to gain special favours but instead ended up being jailed for a day and slapped with a fine of RM5,000 (S$1,926).

Zainal Abidin Hamzah had claimed that he was former Wisma Putra secretary-general Tan Sri Zainal Abidin Sulong (who died in 2010) and tried to get Johor prosecution unit head Umar Saifuddin Jaafar to do him a favour relating to two women from China, who were charged for overstaying and not possessing proper travel documents.

Zainal was charged together with another retiree Lu Kim Liong, 66, for the offence, which occurred between 11am and noon at the state prosecution office in Kota Iskandar here on Dec 6 last year.

Magistrate Mohd Azlan Shah Mohd Alias, however, awarded Lu a discharge not amounting to an acquittal for the case.

Zainal claimed in court that the women were Lu's friends.

He was charged under Section 419 of the Penal Code with cheating by impersonation, which carries a jail term of up to seven years, a fine or both upon conviction.

Mohd Azlan later sentenced Zainal to a day's jail and fined him RM5,000 for the offence and if unpaid, six months' jail for the offence.

As of 4.30pm yesterday, Zainal still had not paid the fine.

Later, Lu walked out of court smiling but then suddenly tried to kick some pressmen, who were waiting to snap a picture of the duo.

After the short outburst, Lu quickly exited the court with his lawyer G.S.P. Ravindran.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Noor Farhana Adham prosecuted the case.

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