27 November 2017
November 27, 2017
Bilqis Hijjas acquitted of throwing balloons at PM’s event
KUALA LUMPUR: Dance producer Bilqis Hijjas has been acquitted of dropping yellow balloons at an event attended by Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife at a shopping mall two years ago.
In clearing her of the charge, magistrate Muhammad Faizal Ismail said the defence had created doubt over the prosecution’s case.
He said Bilqis’ claim that she only dropped the balloons to attract Najib’s attention to uphold constitutional principles was never challenged by the prosecution.
“Evidence by prosecution witnesses that they (guests who attended the event) would be angry with her (Bilqis) and that there would be disruption was mere assumptions,” he said.
Faizal said Bilqis, the only defence witness, gave evidence that was consistent with testimonies by security personnel and the image captured on CCTV.
He said there was also no resistance from her when she was apprehended by security officials, and the event proceeded smoothly.
6 November 2017
DANCER Bilqis Hijjas, whose acquittal was reversed last month, said she had no intention of insulting Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, when she dropped yellow balloons during an event where they were the VIP guests.
Bilqis was charged with behaving in an insulting manner after releasing balloons from the fifth floor at the Pavilion shopping mall in Bukit Bintang at 3.15pm on August 31, 2015.
Her action was to highlight the principles of democracy, free media and justice – words printed on the balloons – she said today.
“I only wanted to remind the prime minister of the principles printed on the balloons, which I think are the main principles in the country.
“These are the principles that many people want in the country and I wanted to tell him we hold strongly to these principles,” she said at the Kuala Lumpur magistrates’ court.
Deputy public prosecutor Nurakmal Farhan Aziz asked how she would she feel if the same incident happened at an event organised by her and the media coverage focused on the disturbance instead of the event itself.
Bilqis replied she would not know how she would feel – which prompted Nurakmal to ask the same question – before being stopped by the magistrate, who asked Nurakmal why he was forcing the witness to answer the same question.
Bilqis’ lawyer, Eric Paulsen, said her intention was not to cause a disturbance or breach of the peace and the final decision should be made by the magistrate based on Bilqis’ explanation.
“Factually, I think we are clear there was no breach of the peace because we have seen from the evidence, the video, no one saw the balloons and nobody screamed or ran away and the only person who saw it was the security personnel.
“She had said very clearly that her intention is not to cause any disturbance or breach of the peace. Her intention was to affirm the principles of democracy, free media and justice,” Paulsen told The Malaysian Insight.
The next hearing will be on November 13 and 20 while a decision is expected on November 27. –November 6, 2017.
3 October 2017
Prosecutor’s appeal is allowed. High Court ordered Bilqis Hijjas to enter defence re ‘insulting’ yellow balloons thrown at Pavillion event.
Court reverses acquittal of Bilqis Hijjas
Tuesday, 3 Oct 2017
KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has reversed the acquittal of dance producer Bilqis Hijjas (pic) who was charged with behaving in an insulting manner at a function attended by the Prime Minister and his wife.
Justice Mohd Sofian Abd Razak on Tuesday ordered Bilqis, the daughter of architect Hijjas Kasturi, to enter her defence after the prosecution appealed against a magistrate’s court decision on July 1 which acquitted her of the charge.
The judge said the prosecution had proven a prima facie case against Bilqis.
Met by reporters after the decision, Bilqis’ counsel Eric Paulsen said they would call one witness.
Bilqis was accused of dropping the balloons from the fifth floor at the shopping mall in Bukit Bintang here at about 3.15pm on Aug 31, 2015.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor were attending the DiverseCity 2015 Kuala Lumpur International Arts Festival on the ground floor.
The balloons contained the words “democracy”, “free media”, and “justice.”
1 July 2017
Dancer walks free after court rules yellow balloons at PM event ‘not insulting’ (VIDEO)
KUALA LUMPUR, July 1 ― Dancer Bilqis Hijjas was today acquitted of insulting behaviour by dropping yellow balloons during an official event attended by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife in a mall last August.
Magistrate Mohd Faizal Ismail said the prosecution failed to prove a prima facie case against Bilqis, ruling that it had not shown that her action with the balloons amounted to “insulting behaviour”.
He pointed out that the definition in the dictionary by the country’s leading Malay-language authority Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka requires an alleged “insult” to be aimed or felt by a person, but pointed out that no one had been insulted by Bilqis’s actions.
“This court finds that an insulting action has to be referred to someone who felt they were insulted,” the magistrate said when delivering his decision at the end of the prosecution’s case.
The magistrate said three witnesses had felt that Bilqis behaved insultingly, but noted that auxiliary police officer Irmalinda Zaimardy could not have been insulted as she was merely carrying out her duties by stopping the balloon-dropping, while event organiser Datin Sunita Mei-Lin Rajakumar only found out about Bilqis’s actions after it had happened and the event had ended.
As for investigating officer Izwan Paijan’s testimony that Bilqis’ actions were “rude”, the magistrate said it was merely the view of the eighth and final prosecution witness in this case.
“The attitude of being kurang ajar dan biadap (rude) can be said to be a moral wrong, and not a criminal offence,” he said.
The magistrate also found that the prosecution had failed to prove that Bilqis had “intent to provoke” anger, noting that two security personnel had apprehended her without having to use any force.
“The accused also offered a balloon to the second prosecution witness (Pavilion mall security executive Karamjit Singh Shabeg Singh) but it was refused by the second prosecution witness and the second prosecution witness ordered her to stop her actions.
“This shows that the accused has no intention to provoke anger,” he said, again highlighting that Sunita had only discovered the balloon-dropping after the event ended.
The prosecution also failed to prove the final element of the charge, as it was shown that there was no “breach of peace” caused by Bilqis’s actions, the magistrate said.
“This ingredient can be seen from the prosecution witnesses, who said there was no breach of peace, the event went on smoothly, no chaos occurred, no one ran when the balloons fell from the fifth floor to second floor,” he said.
He also noted the mall’s security officers testified that they helped prevent any unwanted incident by apprehending Bilqis.
“The court finds that the prosecution failed to prove a prima facie case against the accused and the court discharges the accused without her having to enter defence,” he said.
1 July 2016
Up up and away! Bilqis the yellow balloon girl is FREE http://fb.me/7PdaztWpo
Balloon girl acquitted, judge rules her actions ‘not insulting’ http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/dancer-walks-free-after-court-rules-yellow-balloon-at-pm-event-not-insultin … via
‘Balloon girl’ Bilqis Hijjas freed of insulting behaviour charge
Last updated on 1 July 2016 – 07:14pm
KUALA LUMPUR: The Magistrate’s Court, here, today acquitted and discharged dancer Bilqis Hijjas of a charge of behaving in an insulting manner by releasing yellow balloons at an event attended by the prime minister and his wife in August last year.
Magistrate Mohd Faizal Ismail freed Bilqis, 37, of the charge without calling for her defence after the prosecution failed to prove a prima facie case against her at the end of the prosecution’s case.
“After studying the testimonies and submissions of the prosecution and defence, as well as making maximum evaluation, the court has decided that the accused be acquitted and discharged.”
“The court believes that elements like insulting, arousing anger and that peace might be disturbed failed to be proven by the prosecution,” said Mohd Faizal.
He said offences under this Act (Minor Offences Act 1955) were generally seldom brought to court until a full trial because usually, the accused would plead guilty and pay the fine.
“However, the court is of the opinion that it is not impossible for such cases nowadays to be brought to a full trial.
“As such cases seldom occur, the court needs to be careful in making a decision, besides the absence of cases for reference involving such offences,” he added.
DPP Norakmal Farhan Aziz appeared for the prosecution, while lawyer Eric Paulsen represented Bilqis who was seen smiling upon hearing the court’s verdict today.
She was charged under Section 14 of the Minor Offences Act 1955 and faces a maximum RM100 fine if found guilty.
24 June 2016
Magistrate dubs balloon girl’s case ‘rare’, sets July 1 for decision http://fb.me/1pjNf9iCz
Malay Mail Online
Magistrate dubs balloon girl’s case ‘rare’, sets July 1 for decision
KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 — A magistrate today deferred his decision on “balloon girl” Bilqis Hijjas’ trial to July 1, saying he needed more time to prepare his judgment as the case was a “rare” one.
“This is a rare incident. I need time to think before I decide. The decision will be on July 1,” Magistrate Muhamad Faizal Ismail told the courtroom here.
Earlier in court, Bilqis’ lawyer Eric Paulsen argued that it was “factually impossible” to breach peace with a few balloons that he said were only spotted by security personnel.
Bilqis was on trial for dropping several yellow balloons at an event featuring the prime minister last year.
She was charged on September 23 under Section 14 of the Minor Offences Act 1955, which covers “insulting behaviour” with the purported purpose of inciting anger, which may cause a disturbance of peace.
“The ingredients to breach peace are not sufficient. Clearly, she did not have the intent to do anything humiliating and disrupt peace,” Paulsen told the court.
TODAY 3pm, MMJ4 KL- Decision Bilqis Hijjas charged for ‘insulting behaviour’ re dropping yellow balloons at Pavi KL
3 June 2016
Witness: Act of tossing balloons rude, insult to country
Investigating officer says the balloons tossed by Bilqis Hijjas could have contained hazardous materials.
KUALA LUMPUR: The Magistrate’s Court here was told yesterday that the actions of a woman in tossing and dropping yellow balloons from the fifth floor of a shopping complex during an event attended by the prime minister and his wife, was rude.
Investigating officer Inspector Izwan Paijan, 35, said the rude act by Bilqis Hijjas, 37, was also an insult to the country, as well as the organiser of the event.
“The rude act by Bilqis in tossing the balloons during the event was an insult to the country because it was attended by Najib Razak and wife, Rosmah Mansor, as well as ambassadors from 24 countries,” he added.
Izwan, who is the eighth prosecution witness, said Bilqis’s act drew the ire of the master of ceremony of the ‘DiverseCity 2015: Kuala Lumpur International Arts Festival’, R Sunita Mei-Lin, 47, as it diverted the public’s attention away from the event.
He was testifying on the sixth day of the trial involving Bilqis, a dancer and the daughter of prominent architect Hijjas Kasturi, who has been charged with insulting behaviour at the Pavilion shopping mall in Jalan Bukit Bintang at 3.15pm on Aug 31 last year.
6 May 2016
Bersih balloon drop artist nabbed because words ‘provocative’
26 April 2016
In balloon girl trial, witness says had orders to avoid Bersih commotion
KUALA LUMPUR, April 26 — A security officer today told a Magistrates Court that she had specific orders to prevent any commotion linked to the Bersih 4 rally, in a mall event attended last August 31 by the prime minister.
Auxiliary police officer Irmalinda Zaimardy, who has been serving at the capital city’s Pavilion mall for the last four years, said she attended a briefing by her supervisor prior to the event.
Irmalinda said she was told at the briefing to ensure the event would not be disturbed, confirming the Bersih rally was mentioned during the briefing.
“No commotion from the Bersih gathering when the event is ongoing,” she said when asked about the specific order relating to the Bersih rally.
Irmalinda was testifying as the prosecution’s first witness in the trial of Bilqis Hijjas, who allegedly dropped several yellow balloons from the fifth floor of the Pavilion mall to the second floor area where an event attended by the prime minister was held.
Bilqis, the daughter of prominent architect Hijjas Kasturi, has since then been popularly known as the balloon girl.
Today, Irmalinda also told deputy public prosecutor Nurakmal Farhan Aziz that she had felt Bilqis’s actions obstructed her work and responsibilities in ensuring the safety of her employer, the public, and luminaries including the prime minister.
Earlier during cross-examination, Irmalinda confirmed she had collected seven burst balloons from the second floor area after detaining and handing Bilqis over to her supervisor.
After being shown a close-circuit television recording of an individual wearing a green shirt throwing a yellow balloon, Irmalinda said it was “possible” that not all seven balloons were released by Bilqis — who was earlier shown wearing pink in the video recordings.
When quizzed by Bilqis’s lawyer, Melissa Sasidaran, Irmalinda confirmed that the Pavilion mall has no public restrictions against yellow balloons within the mall.
But she said anyone except children found throwing balloons within the mall on August 31 would be detained, confirming that the arrests would still be made even if the prime minister were not present.
Irmalinda had this morning said the yellow colour of the balloons was associated to the Bersih 4 rally, including its banners and the shirts of its participants.
Irmalinda told defence lawyer Eric Paulsen that it was the balloons that drove her to detain Bilqis, instead of the words “Democracy”, “Free Media” and “Justice” printed on the balloons.
The hearing before magistrate Muhamad Faizal Ismail resumes tomorrow morning, with five more witnesses expected to be called in by the prosecution during the trial.
– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/in-balloon-girl-trial-witness-says-had-orders-to-avoid-bersih-commotion?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter#sthash.6BV4dqa8.dpuf
11 March 2016
Tune in to Malaysiakini Sunday to find out why Balqis Hijjas thinks that throwing balloons is not a crime.
28 January 2016
NEXT COURT DATE: 24 FEB 2016
AG’s Chambers won’t drop charges against balloon woman
The Attorney-General’s Chambers has rejected artist Bilqis Hijjas’ representation letter to drop charges against her under Section 14 of the Minor Offences Act 1955 for allegedly dropping yellow balloons at an event attended by the prime minister and his wife in August last year.
Her lawyer, Michelle Yesudas, said the deputy public prosecutor Joy Jothi Nadrasan had informed the court today when the trial started, that the application has been rejected.
“We don’t know the reasons for its rejection,” said Michelle when met by reporters.
Michelle had sent the letter of representation on Dec 14 last year to the AG’s Chambers requesting the charges against Bilqis be withdrawn.
Today was the first day of trial with witnesses from the prosecution present for cross-examination. However, the first witness was absent due to a wedding, and the trial was postponed to Feb 24.
23 September 2015
Yellow balloon girl pleads not guilty
Artist Bilqis Hijjas, who allegedly dropped yellow balloons during an event in a mall attended by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor, pleaded not guilty at the KL Magistrate’s Court today.
She has been charged under Section 14 of the Minor Offences Act 1955 for “insulting behaviour” with intent to provoke breach of peace.
Her lawyer, Michelle Yesudas, said that Bilqis intends to fight this out in a trial.
“She has decided to fight on with it because she has done nothing wrong,” she told reporters after the court proceedings.
Judge Nur Azura Murah set the bail at RM500 and the case management is fixed for Oct 26.
Bilqis’ father, Hijjas Kasturi, is posting the bail as her guarantor.
Bilqis Hijjas mengaku TIDAK bersalah, mohon dibicara. Jaminan sebanyak RM500 dgn seorang penjamin ditetapkan oleh mahk.
Bilqis Hijjas pleaded innocence, ask dibicara. A guarantee of 500 with one surety specified by mahk.
lawyers4liberty: Bilqis Hijjas will be represented by Michelle Yesudas and Shahid Adli, with DPP Tuan Shukor bin Abu Bakar and Tuan Farizul…
Bilqis to be charged today under s14 Minor Offences Act for dropping balloons near Najib & Rosmah.
Maximum penalty under S14 Minor Offences Act 1955: Penalty not exceeding RM100.
Bilqis Hijjas at the KL Magistrate Court, where she will be charged for dropping balloons near
@NajibRazak & his wife
Gonna go to the courts tomorrow with a couple of yellow balloons in support of Bilqis Hijjas.
Dear Bilqis, don’t pay the fine of RM100 if convicted, instead offer to sponsor balloons for childrens birthday party to offset it 🙂
Bilqis Hijjas, the first Balloon Criminal in history. Lewis Carroll couldn’t have written anything more ridiculous.
Sending off 99 yellow balloons in solidarity with Bilqis for the BN govt has underestimated Neunundneunzig Luftballons
22 September 2015
Artist to be charged over yellow balloons for Najib, Rosmah
Artist Bilqis Hijjas will be charged tomorrow for allegedly dropping yellow balloons during an event at a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur attended by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor.
Her legal team said Bilqis will be charged at the Kuala Lumpur Magistrate’s Court tomorrow under Section 14 of the Minor Offences Act 1955 for “insulting behaviour” with intent to provoke breach of peace.
If found guilty, she can be fined up to RM100.
Bilqis had dropped the balloons at Pavillion Shopping Mall on Aug 31, a day after the 34-hour Bersih 4 rally.
Drop police probe on ‘balloon girl’, Kit Siang urges PM
Drop police probe on ‘balloon girl’, Kit Siang urges PM http://bit.ly/1X8vy4h
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 1 — DAP’s Lim Kit Siang urged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today to accept in good grace the intentions of a girl who dropped yellow balloons behind the latter at a mall, and have the police drop its investigation on her.
The Gelang Patah MP added that any harassment or persecution of Bilqis Hijjas, who was apprehended at the Pavillion shopping mall yesterday for releasing the balloons, would do neither Najib nor Malaysia any good.
“Najib should speak up, tell police to ‘hands-off’ Bilqis Hijjas and show Malaysia and the world that his government is not obsessed or afraid of yellow colour, T-shirts and balloons,” Lim said in a statement.
“More important[ly], Najib should let it be known that he would not have been ‘provoked’ to break the public peace or to commit any offence by Bilqis’s artistic licence,” the Gelang Patah MP added.
Bilqis, a dancer, is being probed under Section 504 of the penal code for “provoking a breach of peace” by distributing the balloons at the Pavilion shopping mall in Bukit Bintang during the DiverseCity International Art Festival which PM Najib had attended.
It is understood that Bilqis had dropped the balloons from the top floor of the mall which later fell behind the stage where Najib and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah were seated.
The seven balloons were decorated with the words “Free media”, “Democracy” and “Justice”, among others.
Najib and Rosmah were said to have ignored the balloons.
Lawyer Michelle Yesudas who represented the 35 year old said the case was absurd.
“The case should speak for itself. After the exemplary behaviour of the police yesterday at Bersih, for Bilqis to be treated like a criminal is absurd,” she told Malaysiakini.
Cops question woman for insulting PM with balloons
A performance artist who released seven yellow balloons at an event attended by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak this afternoon has been questioned for insulting the premier.Bilqis Hijjas was detained and questioned by police at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters, under Section 504 of the Penal Code for intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace or another offence.Those found guilty can be jailed for up to two years or fined or both.Najib was on the ground floor at the centre court of Pavilion mall to officiate the Diversecity Kuala Lumpur International Arts Festival when the balloons were dropped from a higher floor.The seven Bersih-yellow balloons were decorated with the words “Free media”, “Democracy” and “Justice”, among others.Najib, and his wife Rosmah Mansor did not react to the incident.Bilqis was subsequently detained, and handed over to the police.She was later released after being questioned and her fingerprints taken.