Mariyah Yaakob, the owner of bulk sewing company Mariyah Holdings Sdn Bhd, aged 47, today pleaded not guilty to charges of making statements that could incite Malays in the Ayer Keroh Sessions Court here.
The Cambodian native admitted to the charges after they were read in front of Judge Mohd Sabri Ismail.
According to the charges, the entrepreneur made a statement through a video recording on her TikTok application, viewed in Bukit Piatu, Kampung Musai, Melaka Tengah district.
The alleged statement was made on Nov 16 around 6 pm, with the intention of potentially stirring racial sentiments against Malays.
She is charged under Section 505 of the Penal Code, which carries a maximum sentence of two years’ imprisonment, a fine, or both if convicted.
In a separate proceeding, Mariyah’s son, Ezuan Hafsham Mohd Hisyam, 22, who is also the Director of Mariyah Holdings Sdn Bhd, pleaded not guilty as well.
He is accused of consciously using his mother’s TikTok account to initiate the delivery of a video communication displaying a woman saying something offensive.
The alleged offense, conducted on the same date, time, and location, falls under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (Act 588), punishable under Section 233(3) of the same Act.
The defendants may face a fine not exceeding RM50,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or both, and an additional fine of RM1,000 for each day the offense continues after conviction.
The State Director of Public Prosecutions in Melaka, Ahmad Sazali Omar, recommended bail of RM30,000 for each accused with additional conditions. However, both defendants, represented by lawyer Kamal Hisham Jaafar, requested lower bail.
The court set bail at RM15,000 for Mariyah and RM10,000 for Ezuan Hafsham, with additional conditions, including surrendering their passports to the court and refraining from making any statements to avoid disrupting the case proceedings.
The court scheduled January 12 for document submission and a re-mention of the case. Earlier, a viral video on social media featured a woman claiming to be Cambodian but residing in the country for a long time, conducting a live stream in a Muslimah clothing store.
She asserted that Cambodians are generally more business-savvy than Malays, sparking controversy and subsequent apologies.
(Image credit to mStar)