December 29, 2009

MALAYSIA: Senior citizens fined over magpie fight

. KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia / The New Straits Times / December 29, 2009 By Irdiani Mohd Salleh For abusing two magpies, 27 men, mostly senior citizens, were fined RM130 each in two magistrates’ courts yesterday. If they do not pay the fine they have to go to jail for three months. Aged between 27 and 72, the men pleaded guilty to abusing the birds by causing them to fight at Bird Fans Recreational Club Jinjang in Sentul. In one court, 13 of the accused who were represented by counsel Khairul Amin Abdullah, pleaded guilty after the charge were read to them in Cantonese. Illustrative photo credit: © Mark Coates/Flickr In pressing for a deterrent sentence, deputy public prosecutor Aidatul Azura Zainal Abidin submitted that humans should protect animals and not abuse them. “Magpie is a type of bird which can entertain people. Why do you need to make them fight?” she said. In mitigation, Khairul Amin said that most of the accused persons were pensioners and they did not have fixed income. “They went there to entertain themselves,” he said. In passing sentence, magistrate Aina Azahra Arifin reminded the accused not to repeat the offence. In another court, 14 accused persons pleaded guilty before magistrate Abdullah Siddiq Mohd Nasir. Their counsel Ahmad Ridza Mohd Noh said they were first offenders and regretted their action. According to the facts, a group of men were standing around a cage in which two magpies were fighting. Some of them were believed to have placed bets on the birds. During the police raid, two of the men were writing the bets in a book. [rc] Copyright © 2009 NST Online