Son of Malaysia's ex-minister Mohamad Sabu jailed for drug abuse

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KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The son of former Malaysian defence minister Mohamad Sabu was sentenced to eight months' jail for a drug abuse crime committed last year.

Magistrate Mohamad Aizat Abdul Rahim meted out the sentence on 32-year-old Ahmad Saiful Islam after the defence had failed to prove their case beyond doubt.

"After a maximum evaluation, the court finds the defence had failed to raise reasonable doubt on the prosecution's case," Mr Aizat said on Wednesday (June 24).

Ahmad Saiful was found guilty of using THC - the active chemical found in cannabis - at an entertainment outlet in Kuala Lumpur at around 2.05am on Jan 5 in 2019.

During mitigation, defence lawyer Nicholas Kow asked for a lighter sentence of either a fine or a bond as provided under Section 294 and Section 173A of the Criminal Procedure Code, out of consideration that his client was the sole breadwinner of his family.

"The accused has been a law-abiding citizen prior to this case. If the court decides on a custodial sentence, this would affect his family's livelihood as his wife is a housewife," he said.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Nur Fatin Mohamad Farid, however, objected to such applications on grounds that the prosecution had spent considerable resources in the lengthy trial.

"The court must consider the time and cost due to this trial," she added.

Mr Aizat ruled out a discount on sentencing, saying that such discount is usually given at the early stage of the case as it saves the court's time.

"I have considered the accused's mitigation. It is undeniable that his family would face hardship if he is given an imprisonment."

"However, the court considers public interest to be higher and must give a deterrent sentence as an example," he said.

Mr Aizat has ordered Ahmad Saiful to serve his sentence from the date of sentencing. He will also be placed under a two-year surveillance by the National Anti-Drugs Agency.

In a separate hearing, the court granted Ahmad Saiful a stay pending appeal and imposed a RM9,000 (S$2,926) bail in one surety.

Ahmad Saiful was charged on June 13 last year under Section 15 (1)(a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, which carries a maximum fine of RM5,000 (S$1,625) or a maximum jail term of two years.

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