JOHOR BARU: A 22-year-old salesgirl has pleaded not guilty at the magistrate court to a charge of dangerous and reckless driving which claimed the lives of eight teenage cyclists on Feb 18.
Sam Ke Ting was charged with committing the offence, under Section 41(1) of the Road Transport Act 1987, while driving a car at Jalan Lingkaran Dalam, Johor Baru at about 3.20am.
The charge was read to her in Mandarin by a court translator in front of Magistrate Salina Omar.
The charge sheet stated that she "drove in a reckless and dangerous manner after considering all conditions of the road (including type, condition and measurement of the road) that led to the death of the eight cyclists."
Sam, who was clad in blue T-shirt and maroon hooded sweatshirt, nodded in understanding before being asked to state her plea.
Through the translator, she said she claimed trial to the charge.
Johor Deputy Public Prosecutor Roslan Mat Noor prosecuted while Sam was represented by lawyers Faizal Mokhtar and Bustaman Menon.
Earlier, Faizal had urged the court to lessen the proposed bail of RM20,000, saying that his client earned a salary of RM2,000 a month and that her family was not well off.
"In this case, we must consider the financial factors of the family.
"I am called to address this as there were claims on social media that the accused is from a wealthy family and a daughter of a 'Datuk'," Faizal told the court.
Roslan, however argued that issues highlighted on social media were not relevant and that the case involved public interest and considered a national issue.
Salina then set bail at RM10,000 with one surety and ordered for Sam's passport and driving licence to be handed over to the court.
She fixed April 13 for case management.
On Feb 18, eight teen cyclists were killed when a car driven by the accused ploughed into a group of 30 to 40 youngsters, who were mostly riding modified bicycles commonly known as mosquito bikes.
Eight more cyclists were hospitalised after the incident.