Six beach nudists jailed and fined

Six beach nudists jailed and fined
Off to jail: Bailiffs escorting the six men who pleaded guilty out of the courtroom.

BALIK PULAU, Malaysia - Six men who took part in the "nude sports" at a beach in Teluk Kampi near here have been sentenced to one month's jail and fined RM5,000 (S$1,982.55) each after pleading guilty in the magistrate's court here.

Another man and three women claimed trial to the charge.

Loh Kok Hong, 41, Mu Wai Peng, 34, Justin Ang Ji Keng, 24, Yam Kam Hoong, 54, Lionel Loo Joo Heng, 52, and R. Nanda Kumar, 40, admitted committing obscene acts at a public space in Teluk Bahang from 3pm to 6pm on May 30.

Those who claimed trial were Kong Meng Long, 38, Chew Tok Hua, 57, Chan Chia Wen, 27, and Teh Guan Hoon, 37.

They were separately charged under Section 294(a) of the Penal Code with lewd activity in a public place, which carries a maximum sentence of three months' jail, a fine or both.

All 10 are Malaysians, although Yam and Loh hold Singapore permanent resident status.

Yam also pleaded guilty to a second charge of circulating obscene video clips of the event.

This offence under Section 292 carries a jail term of up to three years, a fine or both.

Magistrate Muhammad Najib Ismail ordered him to be jailed a further six months, to run concurrently with the other jail term.

Loh was represented by counsel Allen Choong and Teh by counsel Jason Khor while the others were unrepresented. DPP Edward Chan represented the prosecution.

In mitigation, Choong said Loh was not a "naturist" like the other participants but was there to film a documentary.

"In order to gain the trust of the other naturists, he was forced to strip down naked like the rest. He was just doing his job," he said, adding that Loh was the first to surrender to the police and had even encouraged the others to follow suit.

In passing sentence, Muhammad Najib said the six had broken the fifth principle of the nation's Rukun Negara - Kesopanan dan Kesusilaan (Courtesy and Morality).

He also said the local community could not accept public nudity, based on the negative reactions to the event.

Muhammad Najib allowed bail at RM4,000 with one surety for the four who claimed trial and fixed Oct 16 for mention.

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