31 May 2019
Do not judge a man by his tattoo…
GEORGE TOWN: A 44-year-old bookseller, accused of being a secret society member, was acquitted by the Magistrate’s Court here today.
He had been hauled to court after police found he had a swastika tattooed on the back of his shoulder.
Suresh Kumar Ramasamy, 44, was arrested by police in a raid at the Tai Raja Cafe, 487, Chulia Street, George Town, on Feb 10, 2018. He was charged on March 1 the same year.
He was charged with having the tattoo of a swastika, which prosecutors claimed was a symbol of the “04” secret society. He was charged under Section 43 of the Societies Act 1966 for being part of an unlawful society. He pleaded not guilty.
The “04” gang is currently regarded as the most active criminal gang in Penang, Perak and other areas in northern Malaysia, Sin Chew Daily reported, having origins in Hua Kee, a secret society of the 1980s.
Today, magistrate Jamaliah Abd Manap ruled in Suresh’s favour, saying the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case.
She found Suresh not guilty of the offence after taking into account arguments from both parties.
Deputy public prosecutor Mohd Syafiq Mohd Sazalli prosecuted while E Gnasegaran and Audrey Wee represented Suresh.
Outside the courthouse, Gnasegaran said the prosecution’s charge against Suresh was not warranted as he was a Hindu and had the right to have the swastika tattoo or any other tattoo he wished.
He said a prosecution witness, who is an expert in gangsterism and secret societies, had confirmed that there was no direct or circumstantial evidence proving that Suresh was a triad member.
Gnasegaran said the expert had told the court that while the swastika was related to the Hindu and Buddhist faiths, the symbol would need to have the figure “04” around it, or four dots, to denote one is a member of the “04 Gang”.
“The prosecution witness also agreed that Suresh’s tattoo was not a gangland tattoo but more of a Hindu one.
“However, we are of the opinion that just a swastika tattoo alone cannot show whether a person is a member of a gang.
“Furthermore, our client has no criminal records, no police reports against him and, by police admission, was never a part of any suspected gang member watchlist.”
Gnasegaran added his client had seven tattoos with an interfaith theme. The other tattoos show a crescent and a star, a cross, a Hindu “aum” symbol and a swastika.
11 Feb 2017
It was a gang symbol, not Hindu, say police
GEORGE TOWN: The symbol that got a group arrested during Thaipusam here on Thursday was identical to the Nazi symbol used by gangs here and not the sacred and auspicious Hindu swastika.
This was said by Northeast District police chief ACP Mior Faridalathrash Wahid.
He issued the statement in response to Penang PKR youth leader A. Kumaresan who said the wing regretted the arrests of the 20 people in relation to the kavadi bearing the Nazi symbol.
Kumaresan had said the police should have referred the matter to the Hindu authorities before taking such action.
But Mior said today that the use of the Nazi symbol is not only condemned by the world community but that it was typical of gangs to use it here as their reference to aggression, violence and hatred.
“In our heterogeneous society, we cannot tolerate nor condone the use of the Nazi symbol. Thaipusam draws visitors from all over the world and we should not portray this condemned symbol as part of our culture,” he said in a statement today.
Police: Kavadi bore Nazi symbol, not Hindu swastika
The symbol used on a particular kavadi during the Thaipusam celebration in George Town on Thursday was identical to the Nazi symbol and not the sacred and auspicious Hindu swastika, said Northeast District police chief ACP Mior Faridalathrash Wahid.
He said the use of the Nazi symbol is condemned by the world community and that it was typical of gangs to use the Nazi symbol as their reference to aggression, violence and hatred.
Photo: Swastika, but ain’t Nazi