Seven individuals comprising a woman and six men pleaded not guilty in the Magistrate's Court in Kuching today, to a charge of disrespecting the national anthem, "Negaraku", on Sept 27.
They are alleged not to have stood to attention while the "Negaraku" was played during a fundraising dinner, held at a hotel on Jalan Ban Hock on Sept 27, at 7.15pm.
The seven are Andrew Chong, 33, Kon Tai Keong, 37, Leong Shaow Tung, 43, Bong Sak Sin, 44, Tan Kok Chiang and Pui Ping Ping, both 46, and Phang Ngin Pen, 64.
They were charged under Section 8 of the National Anthem Act 1968 which carries a maximum penalty comprising RM100 fine or imprisonment of one month.
Magistrate Zubaidah Sharkawi fixed Nov 11 for case management and allowed bail of RM1,000 with a surety, for each of the accused.
On Sept 29, a video which went viral on social media showed a group of people said to be members or supporters of the Sarawak for Sarawakians (S4S) activist group, remained seated while the "Negaraku" was played at a function.
According to a media report on Sept 30, the group's spokesperson said they had acted as such in protest against the federal government's decision not to provide the state with a 20 percent royalty for its oil reserves. - Bernama