KUALA LUMPUR – Shortly after being acquitted, dance producer Bilqis Hijjas hammered home a point – that symbolic protest is possible in the country.
“I am pleased to have been acquitted. It has been a very long process for an extremely minor offence.
“With great help from my lawyers, the case is finally concluded. I do hope there will be no second appeal.
“I think I have made my point and I wish all to take heed of this,” said the daughter of prominent architect Hijjas Kasturi when met outside the courtroom.
On Sept 24, 2015, Bilqis was charged with dropping yellow balloons during an event attended by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor at the Pavilion mall.
She was accused of dropping the balloons with words “democracy”, “free media” and “justice” on them from the 5th floor of the mall in Bukit Bintang, here, at 3.15pm on Aug 31, 2015.
Bilqis claimed trial to the offence under Section 14 of the Minor Offences Act 1955, which carries a fine of not more than RM100, upon conviction.
On July 1, a magistrate’s court acquitted her of the charge.
But the prosecution appealed against that decision.
In acquitting and discharging Bilqis yesterday, magistrate Mohd Faizal Ismail said the accused had proved reasonable doubt in her case.
In his ruling, Mohd Faizal said Bilqis’s evidence was consistent and did not deny the facts.
He said in her testimony, the accused admitted that she had dropped the balloons and also offered them to a woman but a security guard arrested her.
“Her purpose was to attract the premier and to remind him to uphold constitutional principles.
“This was never challenged by the prosecution,” he said in his verdict.