Woman at the Heart of Infamous Malaysian ‘Basikal Lajak’ Court Case Acquitted

Malaysia's Court of Appeal has reached a unanimous decision to acquit Sam Ke Ting in the infamous and drawn-out "Basikal Lajak" court case that began in 2017.

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On April 13, 2022, local clerk Sam was found guilty of causing the death of eight young cyclists along a stretch of a dimly-lit road in Johor Bahru at 3.20 a.m. on February 18, 2017, and was handed a six-year prison term alongside an RM6,000 (US$1,358) fine.

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After an investigation by the police, it was found that Sam had not been speeding and was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Also, the eight deaths had arisen after a large group of youths had been riding modified bicycles along the poorly-lit and winding road that Sam had been using when she collided into them.

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While many observers had deemed Sam's sentence unfair due to the nature of the calamity — something many consider to be a freak accident, she was nevertheless deemed guilty despite initially being freed from a reckless driving charge by the magistrate's court in 2019.

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However, the latest ruling by the court of appeal has seen Sam receive an acquittal, with her conviction under Section 41(1) of the Road Transport Act 1987 being set aside by a three-judge panel led by Justice Hadhariah Syed Ismail. All three judges agreed that the charge held against Sam was defective.

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