3 Things Our Malaysian Judge Said To The Aussie Strippers And How The Guys Responded
The 9 Australian men, arrested for stripping down to their briefs at Sunday's Formula 1 race, were allowed to walk free by Judge Duan Hirith Shan Bin Mohamed Ysinin, who decided not to charge them
Judge Harith Sham Mohamed Yasin used Section 173 (a) of the Criminal Procedure Code to let the men go without punishments
According to Malaysiakini, Judge Harith took into consideration how the Australian men, dubbed as the ‘Budgie Nine’, were remanded for four days, had lacked awareness that their action was insensitive and that they were remorseful.
Here are the three things Judge Harith said to them:
1. "What you have done was totally inappropriate and you have provoked the sensitivity of Malaysians."
2. "The elements in the flag are a symbol of sovereignty and official religion of the country."
3. "You must consider that Malaysia has a different culture to yours."
Following which, one of the accused read out an apology, saying they had no idea that their conduct was deemed to be crass or "downright offensive" to the Malaysians.
They apologised and described their actions as "inappropriate".
"We are remorseful of our actions on that day. We had no idea that our conduct would be deemed to be inappropriate, crass or even downright offensive to the citizens of this country," one of the accused Tom Whitworth said on behalf of the other men.
"Please know that we do not have the slightest of intention to undermine or degrade the dignity of the Jalur Gemilang, this country or her people," he added.
Explaining that their actions were purely an oversight which had stemmed from their lack of knowledge of cultural sensitivities of Malaysians, Whitworth said they only came to the realisation of Malaysians' respect towards the national flag, after their arrest
"We too have similar fondness and respect to our own Australian national flag, but due to our cultural differences, our display of respect and reverence for our national flag is perhaps quite different," Whitworth said while reading from the apology letter.
"But this is no excuse for us not to understand our own neighbours’ sensitivities on certain subjects, such as the present one. We, therefore, without reservation, apologise and express our deepest regret over our conduct of the afternoon of 2 October."
Meanwhile, Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull described the Malaysian authorities as being "very lenient" with the 9 Australians
Turnbull said it was appropriate for the men to apologise in court on, and described them as "very repentant", according to Australian media reports.
"They are on their way home and that's good. I think the Malaysia authorities were very lenient," he was quoted as saying.
According to Malaysiakini, among the nine Australian, was Jack Walker, who is an adviser to Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne. It was reported that PM Turnbull would talk to Pyne once he returns regarding his future as a ministerial adviser.