ISKANDAR PUTERI (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A Singaporean teenager was charged on Wednesday (Dec 7) at the juvenile magistrate's court in Johor Bahru for posing as the grandchild of the Johor Sultan.
The 15-year-old boy made the claim on his Instagram account and was spotted by his "followers" while shopping at Plaza Angsana in Tampoi at 4.30 pm on Aug 6. He was arrested the same day.
The teenager, who attends school in Singapore, was charged under Section 419 of the Penal Code, which carries a maximum of seven years in jail, a fine or both upon conviction. He pleaded not guilty to the offence
Magistrate Salina Omar set Jan 5 for mention of the case and RM4,000 (S$ 1,300) as bail.
The proceeding was held behind closed doors as the accused is a juvenile.
The boy's lawyer, Mr Muhammad Ashraff Mohd Diah, told The Straits Times that his client, the third of five children, lives with his family in Singapore. The family is in Johor while the case is ongoing, he said, adding he did not know why the boy was in Johor at the time of his arrest.
"He portrayed himself as the grandchild of a royal on Instagram. His followers thought he's an actual royal," said Mr Muhammad Ashraff.
"The arrest was made when he was confronted by a shopkeeper and he couldn't answer."
But the lawyer added: "We believe our client did not impersonate to get anything from anyone."