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HAIR GONE: Eleven men, whose heads were shaved bald after they were arrested for illegal gambling, posing in front of a Kajang magistrate's court in Selangor. They claimed trial to the offence. - STARpic by RAJA FAIZAL HISHAN
PETALING JAYA: There has been widespread public indignation over the action by Kajang police to shave bald 10 senior citizens caught playing mahjong on the second day of the Chinese New Year.
The 10 men claimed trial in a Kajang magistrate's court yesterday to a charge of illegal gambling at a public place.
A 31-year-old coffeeshop owner, who was also shaved bald, pleaded not guilty to allowing the 10 to gamble at his Hulu Langat shop.
The public expressed disappointment and puzzlement over the episode.
The Star received numerous calls and SMS texts saying the action was unnecessary.
Politicians described it as insensitive and an over-reaction as well as a violation of human rights.
Kajang OCPD Asst Comm Mohd Noor Hakim, however, defended his men's action, saying that under Section 9a of the Lock Up Rules, the police can shave a detainee's head bald. "So, we are just exercising whatever the law requires us to do."