Court of Appeal reverses ex-CJ's decision on interpretation of word in Misuse of Drugs Act

The Court of Appeal on Friday overturned a landmark decision by former Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong over the meaning of the word "import" in the Misuse of Drugs Act.

The three-judge court in delivering their decision in the case of 41-year-old Malaysian man, who was sentenced to the minimum five years' jail and five strokes of the cane for importing 0.01g of heroin, disagreed with the former CJ's interpretation.

Mr Chan had ruled last year that in order to make out an importation charge, prosecutors had to prove that an offender brought the drugs into the country for the purpose of trafficking. He had quashed Adnan Kadir's conviction and sent the case back to the district court for a retrial.

But the prosecution disagreed with Mr Chan's interpretation and took the case to the Court of Appeal, which reserved judgment after hearing arguments in February this year. On Friday, the appeal court delivered its judgment, ruling that the law does not require prosecutors to prove that an accused person imported the drugs for the purpose of trafficking. The appeal court's decision means Adnan's original sentence stands.