Judge does double take after duo pleads ‘guilty’ to illegal deposit taking charge

Sylvia Looi
Yap Ying Chao (right) and Boo Weil Seng pleaded guilty after being charged under Section 137 of the Financial Services Act 2013. ― Picture by Farhan Najib

TAIPING, Aug 28 ― Confusion broke out at the Sessions Court here today when two men admitted to a charge of illegal deposit.

Justice Syed Faisal Syed Amir was not convinced of their guilt when Yap Ying Chao, 25 and Boo Weil Seng, 30, who were unrepresented in court, pleaded guilty after being charged under Section 137 of the Financial Services Act 2013.

The charge was read to them twice in Bahasa Malaysia.

“Do you understand the charge?” Syed Faisal asked the two accused repeatedly before Yap requested that the charge be read again.

After it was read for the second time, the duo again pleaded guilty and even admitted to the facts of case that was read to them after the guilty plea.

Yap and Boo are accused of accepting RM5,720 from one Foong Han Yan on April 12, 2016 at SMK Kamunting in Kamunting, Perak at about 11.14am, without the necessary licence required, as provided under Section 10 of the Financial Services Act 2013.

The judge then told Yap and Boo that he would have no choice but to sentence them if they maintained their guilty plea.

If convicted, both men could be jailed a maximum of 10 years or fined up to RM50 million, or both.

At this point, deputy public prosecutor Safiyatun Ahmadun requested a stand down for an interpreter who speaks Chinese to be appointed so the two accused understood their charge and the repercussion. The judge agreed.

The judge later scheduled September 7 for mention of the case and fixed bail at RM10,000 with one surety for each of the accused.

Safiyatun later told reporters that the new court date was due to the unavailability of an interpreter until then.

She explained that the court did not accept the duo’s guilty plea as they did not appear to understand the charge against them.