Lawyer confirms no Shariah charges against woman at centre of viral stand-up video uproar

·2-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, July 20 — Siti Nuramira Abdullah, the woman at the centre of the Crackhouse Comedy Club controversy, will no longer be facing charges in the Shariah Court amid uproar over the risk of double jeopardy, her lawyer confirmed today.

The 26-year-old woman was charged in the civil court last week and was arrested by Federal Territories Islamic Affairs Department law enforcers two days ago, and told she would be charged later in the Shariah Court with insulting Islam.

In a statement sighted by Malay Mail, prosecutors have decided against pressing charges against Siti Nuramira based on local Shariah laws.

"This is in line with the Shariah objective (maqasid) that stresses the approach of discipline (ta'dib) in the administration of Shariah criminal law, which is hoped to bring the accused back to Islamic practice," the department's chief prosecutor was quoted saying in the statement.

The department said that the criminal charge under Section 298A of the Penal Code provided a heavier punishment.

Siti Nuramira's lawyer, Ramesh NP Chandran, told Malay Mail the statement means his client is free from legal prosecution under Shariah laws, but added that she has also surrendered her passport to the civil Sessions Court.

Siti Nuramira’s allegedly offensive stand-up comedy routine began with a video of her claiming that she had memorised half the Quran, before removing her headscarf and baju kurung to reveal a spaghetti strap top and miniskirt on stage.

The video was reportedly taken and posted online by her partner, V. Alexander Navin, 38, where it circulated by social media users who added a caption claiming that the display was an insult to Islam, leading to backlash from Muslims.

Siti Nuramira was charged with causing disharmony on grounds of religion among the Muslims on July 13 at the Sessions Court here under Section 298A(1)(a) of the Penal Code, which provides imprisonment for up to five years if found guilty.

Her partner, Alexander Navin was separately charged with two counts of improper use of network facilities by making and initiating the transmission of offensive videos on Instagram and YouTube on June 5 and June 16.

Both claimed trial.

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