Yesterday (13th April), 27-year-old Sam Ke Ting was sentenced to a six-year jail term for causing the death of eight teenage cyclists. The incident, otherwise known as the ‘basikal lajak’ case, took place five years ago. Sam had been travelling along a road in Johor at 3am when she collided with the group.
She was acquitted twice. However, the sentence from the Johor Bahru High Court overturned that. Her sentence of six years in jail and a fine of RM6,000 began yesterday. Yet, the decision left many Malaysians dissatisfied, including local celebrities.
Radio DJ Danny One (温力铭) and local musician Kah Jun (凌加峻) sarcastically said the law needs an ‘update’. “So, the road at midnight does not belong to the cars. It’s a road for bicycles,” Danny observed. “The law needs to be updated, (thanks).” Kah Jun too had his own suggestions for amendments in the law. “Add a law that when there is insufficient light, the speed (of the vehicle) should not exceed 50,” he wrote. “And another law, after 3am, ladies should not be out alone. Also, the road at that time belongs to children under the age of 18.”
Kah Jun also sardonically said that they should add another test for the driving exam. The test should consist of training drivers how to dodge modified bicycles (basikal lajak) on the road. “If you can’t dodge, you will fail,” he stated. “Lest you threaten the lives of the people and waste six years of your time because you weren’t aware of the danger ahead of you.” The musician then added, “It’s better to make things clear, otherwise I’ll be confused.”
Aside from mocking the reasonings given during the case, others voiced their thoughts. YouTuber and influencer Chang Yong (蔡常勇) blatantly said, “I have questions,” about the case. He added a video of someone’s dashcam, filming several kids on bikes, supposedly taken before the crash. “Do the right thing in the right place,” Chang Yong stated. “Don’t go racing in (inappropriate) areas.”
Malaysian artist Cheryl Lee Xin Yi (李欣怡) asked a rhetorical question related to the issue. “If someone walking with a knife stumbled, stabbed and killed themselves (by accident),” she posited. “Is it the man’s fault? Or the ground’s fault?” Local singer Namewee (黃明志) merely posted a photo of a black screen. “R.I.P. justice in Malaysia,” he said grimly.
Local celebs weren’t the only ones unhappy with the situation. Many Malaysians voiced their objections online, with some asking how two acquittals could suddenly end in Sam’s arrest. A few even had theories as to why this was happening. However, several decided to go a step further.
Four petitions were launched, calling for Sam’s freedom. One petition, titled “Free Sam Ke Ting From Allegations of Risky Driving” is addressed to the Malaysian Court of Appeal. At the time of writing, it had over 390,000 signatures and was still climbing.
Sam’s lawyer mentioned today (14th April) that the notice of motion for leave to appeal and to stay the execution of Sam’s sentence has been filed. A certificate of urgency was also filed.
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