IN THE COURT OF APPEAL OF MALAYSIA
(APPELLATE JURISDICTION) CRIMINAL APPEAL NO: P-05-424-2010
ZULKIFLI BIN MD RODZI
PUBLIC PROSECUTOR … RESPONDENT
[In the matter of suit no: 45-15-2009 In the High Court of Malaya in Pulau Pinang
ZULKIFLI BIN MD RODZI
Mohamed Apandi Hj Ali, JCA Linton Albert, JCA Hamid Sultan Bin Abu Backer, JCA
Hamid Sultan Bin Abu Backer, JCA (Delivering Judgment of The Court)
 This is our judgment in respect of the Appellant’s appeal against conviction and the sentence of death. This matter came up for hearing on 22.1.2013 and we reserved judgment. This is our judgment.
 The Appellant was charged under 39B(1)(a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 and the charge reads as follows:
“Bahawa kamu pada 21hb November 2008, jam lebih kurang 11.30 malam, bertempat di alamat SBH 253 PBA A, Pantai Kamloon, Kepala Batas, di dalam Daerah Seberang Perai Utara, di dalam Negeri Pulau Pinang, telah mengedarkan dadah berbahaya iaitu sejumlah berat 9,9623 gram cannabis dan dengan itu, kamu telah melakukan suatu kesalahan di bawah Seksyen 39B(1)(a) Akta Dadah Berbahaya 1952 dan boleh dihukum di bawah Seksyen 39B(2) Akta yang sama.”
 The brief facts of the case have been well articulated by the learned JC in his 34 page judgment. It can be summarized as follows:
THE PROSECUTION CASE
PW4, Insp. Muhamad Izham bin Abd Talib testified that acting on information, on 21.11.2008 at about 11.30 p.m., he and PW8, Insp. Mohamad Muzamil bin Esmaon and a team of 10 policemen from the Kepala Batas IPD, Seberang Perai Utara raided a house at SBH 253, PBA A, Pantai Kamloon, Kepala Batas, Seberang Perai Utara, Penang. They were all in plain clothes and departed to the scene on their motorcycles. They parked about 30 to 50 metres away from the scene.
PW4 saw that the premise was a village house made of wood. The door to the house was closed but unlocked. PW4 pushed opened the door and entered the house. PW4 saw a Malay man who was holding a plastic packet in the living room. The Malay man was later identified as
Mohammad Fariz bin Ismail (PW6). PW4 identified himself as police to PW6 and conducted body search but did not find any incriminating items.
PW4 and 3 of his team members went to the room at the left side of the house and pushed open the closed door. PW4 saw the Appellant inside the room and identified himself as police. The Appellant was not wearing any clothes except pants. PW4 testified that when he identified himself as the police, the Appellant was seen at unease and tried to flee the scene. PW4 apprehended the Appellant and conducted a body search but found nothing incriminating. PW4 asked the Appellant whether he had kept any contraband and the Appellant replied “ada”. At this juncture, PW4 cautioned the Appellant under section 37A(1)(b) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952.
PW4 observed inside the room and saw a few cardboard boxes, a wooden cupboard and a shirt hanging at the side of the cupboard. PW4 opened the cupboard doors and found a black plastic bag on the cupboard’s floor. PW4 took out the black plastic bag and opened it. Inside the plastic bag, PW4 found 14 slabs of substances suspected to be ganja.
PW4 then searched the room and found a packet of transparent plastic containing several transparent plastic packets.
 The petition of appeal says as follows:
“(i) Yang Arif Pesuruhjaya Kehakiman Mahkamah Tinggi telah silap dari segi fakta dan undang-undang kerana membuat kesilapan membenarkan pintu bilik dikunci dari luar.
(ii) Yang Arif Pesuruhjaya Kehakiman Mahkamah Tinggi telah silap dari segi fakta dan undang-undang kerana mempercayai keterangan Pasukan polis yang membuat serbuan SP4 SP9 memberi keterangan palsu dan tidak menimbang langsung keterangan SP2 jurufoto.
(iii) Yang Arif Pesuruhjaya Penghakiman Tinggi telah silap dari segi fakta dan undang-undang kerana menerima pakai keterangan SP5 seorang pegawai sains dan bukan seorang ahli kimia kerajaan.
(iv) Yang Arif Pesuruhjaya Penghakiman telah silap dari segi fakta dan undang undang kerana memutuskan yang perayu mempunyai ‘possession custody control dan occupier’ bersangkut barang kes yang dijumpai.
(v) Yang Arif Pesuruhjaya Penghakiman telah silap dari segi fakta dan undang-undang kerana memutuskan ada kes prima facie atas perayu dan memanggil perayu membela diri.
(vi) Yang Arif Pesuruhjaya Penghakiman telah silap dari segi fakta dan undang-undang kerana memutuskan perayu bersalah dalam kes ini.
(vii) Yang Arif Pesuruhjaya Penghakiman telah silap dari segi fakta dan undang-undang kerana tidak menimbangkan yang PW13 sebenarnya pengedar dalam kes ini.
(viii) Untuk kesemua atau mana-mana satu alasan yang dicatit di atas perayu memohon rayuannya dibenarkan dan hukuman diketepikan.”
 The learned counsel for the Appellant relied inter alia on the following cases to drive home the point namely:
(i) PP v Yap Boon Chang  2 CLJ 1257
(ii) Yap Chin Chai v PP  4 CLJ 693/697
(iii) Lee Chee Meng v PP  1 MLJ 322
(iv) PP v Badrulsham bin Baharom  2 MLJ 585
(v) PP v Kau Joo Huat  2 MLJ 91
(vi) PP v Chong Wei Kian  3 MLJ 165
(vii) PP v Lin Lian Chen  1 MLJ 316
 In the instant case a pertinent question of law was raised. The chemist’s report was tendered as exhibit P13 by SP5 Marwani binti Abdul Rahman whose status is referred to as “Pegawai Sains, Jabatan Kimia” and that report which states that it is a report under section 399 of Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) does not satisfy the criteria required under the said section. (see PP v Lin Lian Chen). Despite the objection of the defence the said report was marked as exhibit. Learned Deputy Public Prosecutor before us argues that it can be admitted pursuant to section 45 of the Evidence Act 1950 (EA 1950), if at all it cannot be admitted under section 399 of CPC. Both the counsels were not able to furnish us with authorities in support of their contentions and in consequence the judgment was reserved. Exhibit P13 inter alia reads as follows:
“JABATAN KIMIA MALAYSIA
Kementerian Sains, Teknologi dan Inovasi
No. Makmal: (PP) FOR 3586/08-0
LAPORAN DI BAWAH SEKSYEN 399 KANUN TATACARA JENAYAH
Saya MAWARNI BINTI ABDUL RAHMAN, Pegawai Sains yang berkhidmat di Jabatan Kimia Malayia dengan ini memperakui bahawa pada jam 0930 pada 12/12/2008 telah diserahkan kepada saya oleh Ahli Kimia ROSNI BINTI HAMID, satu bungkusan kota bertanda “(E)” yang termeterai “POLIS DIRAJA MALAYSIA 40” yang terlebih
dahulu diterima oleh beliau daripada C/Insp. 14386 Salim bin Emin pada jam 1535 pada 28/11/2008.
Saya telah memeriksa bungkusan “(E)” itu dan mendapati di dalamnya sebuah kotak berisi 14 bungkusan plastic bertanda “S1” hingga “S14”. Di dalam setiap bungkusan plastik itu ada satu bongkah bahan tumbuhan mampat. Setelah dianalisa, saya dapati kesemua bahan tumbuhan tersebut ialah “cannabis”.
Berat bersih tumbuhan “cannabis” tersebut ialah seperti berikut:
Bil. Tanda Berat Bersih (gram)
1. S1 702
2. S2 801
3. S3 544
4. – 14 S4 hingga S14
MAWARNI BINTI ABDUL RAHMAN
Jabatan Kimia Malaysia”
 Section 399 of the CPC reads as follows:
(1) Any document purporting to be a report under the hand of any of the persons mentioned in subsection (2) upon any person, matter or thing or analysed by him or any document purporting to be a report under the hand of the Registrar of Criminals upon any matter or thing relating to finger impressions submitted to him for report may be given in evidence in any inquiry, trial or other proceeding under this Code unless that person or Registrar shall be required to attend as a witness:
(a) by the Court; or
(b) by the accused in which case the accused shall give notice to the Public Prosecutor not less than three clear days before the commencement of the trial:
Provided always that in any case in which the Public Prosecutor intends to give in evidence any such report he shall deliver a copy of it to the accused not less than ten clear days before the commencement of the trial.
(2) The following are persons to whom the provisions of this section apply:
(a) officer of the Institute for Medical Research;
(b) Government Medical Officers;
(c) chemists in the employment of any Government in Malaysia or of the Government of Singapore;
(d) any person appointed by the Minister by notification in the Gazette, to be a Document Examiner;
(e) Inspector of Weights and Measures appointed as such under any written law relating to weights and measures in force in Malaysia; and
(f) any person or class of persons to whom the Minister by notification in the Gazette declares that the provisions of this section shall apply.
(3) The persons referred to in subsection (2) and the Registrar of Criminals
are by this Code bound to state the truth in reports made under their hands.
 In the instant case it is not in dispute that section 399 (2)(c) is the relevant part and the prosecution concedes that SP5 is not a chemist and the evidence of
SP5 also clearly shows that he is not a chemist. That part of the evidence reads as follows:
T.P.R. :“Kenapa awak digelar sebagai Pegawai Sains tapi bukan Ahli Kimia?”
SP5 :“Saya bertugas sebagai Pegawai Sains kerana saya memiliki Ijazah Sarjana Muda dengan kepujian dalam bidang sains forensic dari Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) tahun 2005. Sebagai pegawai sains yang memiliki gelaran Ahli Kimia mereka memiliki Ijazah Sarjana Muda dalam bidang kimia dan berdaftar dengan Institut Kimia.”
T.P.R.: “Walaupun awak tidak bergelar Ahli Kimia dan tidak memiliki Ijazah Sarjana Muda dalam bidang kimia serta tidak berdaftar dengan Institut Kimia adakah awak dibenarkan menjalankan analisa ke atas dadah?”
SP5 : “Saya dibenarkan menjalankan analisa ke atas bahan-bahan yang disyaki mengandungi dadah, tugas Pegawai Sains dan Ahli Kimia adalah sama, yang membezakan ialah Ahli Kimia berdaftar dengan IKM tetapi Pegawai Sains tidak berdaftar dengan IKM. IKM ialah Institut Kimia Malaysia.”
 From the evidence of SP5 it is clear that he is not a government chemist though his function relates to the work of the chemist. In essence if the report is not from the government chemist it is not admissible and has no relevance for purpose of section 399 CPC even though it was couched as a report under section 399 CPC. Support for the proposition is found in a number of cases in India, even though there is no equipollent section such as section 399 of the CPC in India. Section 293 of Indian Criminal Code which deals with similar
issues, and the commentary to the said section by the learned author of Ratanlal & Dhirajlal, 13th Edition 1987 to The Code of Criminal Procedure at page 304 reads as follows:
“This section makes provision for accepting in evidence reports made by certain Government Scientific Experts. It applies to the report of a “Chemical Examiner or Assistant Chemical Examiner”. It does not extend to the report made by an Additional Chemical Examiner [Atul Muchi, (1984) 10 Cal 1026], or the Professor of Anatomy at the Government Medical College.
[Ahilya (1922) 24 Bom LR 803, 47 Bom 74].”
 The learned Deputy Public Prosecutor’s argument that exhibit P13 can be admitted under section 45 EA 1950 cannot be sustained as it is trite that if a special procedure is prescribed under the Act then the general provisions found in the Act or other Acts cannot be followed. This principle is expressed by the maxim genaralia specialibus non derogant. [see PP v Sandara Margaret Birch  1 MLJ 129; Baldeo and Others v Emperor 1940 AIR Alahabad 263; Article by Hamid Sultan bin Abu Backer – Md. Desa v PP – A classic display of judicial vigilance  1 MLJ LXXXIII]. The courts in India have gone to the extent of saying that if the report does not comply with the said section then for purpose of admissibility it is nothing more than a ‘little scrap paper … it is not legal evidence’ [see Peary Lal v Emperor, A.I.R. 1938 Lah. 496]. In essence the court is not bound to accept and act on such report as conclusive evidence of its contents. [see Bhaskaran v State, 1967 Ker. L. T. 165].
 In the instant case the evidence of SP5 and also his report exhibit P13 has to be expunged. Once it has been expunged the prosecution case would have
collapsed at the prosecution stage as the elements of the charge would not have been established and the accused had to be acquitted and discharged.
 In the instant case the petition of appeal except on the issue of section 399 relates to one of finding of facts. The learned JC has meticulously dealt with the issues raised in the petition of appeal where relevant and material to justify conviction and sentence according to law. We do not think it is necessary to set out the facts in any detail and the findings of the learned JC save to deal with the core issues.
 On the first ground relating to door being locked, the learned JC has dealt in his judgment and made the following observations:
“Mengikut logik, jika pintu bilik telah dikunci dari luar, tentulah tidak ada orang di dalamnya dan tidak begitu cemas untuk SP4 dan anggotanya memberi fokus terlebih dahulu ke atas bilik tersebut dan lebih pragmatik bagi mereka terus menggeledah bahagian lain rumah terlebih dahulu. ”
 2nd and 7th grounds are also in relation to finding of facts, which is based on evidence. The other grounds namely 4th, 5th and 6th are decisions according to law based on primary facts and findings of the learned JC.
 In the instant case 13 witnesses had given evidence for the prosecution. The Appellant was found in the room not wearing any clothes except pants. When PW4 identified himself as police, he panicked and tried to flee. He was
apprehended and drugs (ganja) were recovered from the room. The learned DPP has dealt in the submission and have dealt with the issues raised by the Appellant in the Petition of Appeal. We are in total agreement except on the issue relating to section 399 of the CPC.
 In the instant case, we have carefully examined the complaints, the judgment and the evidence save for the section 399 issue, we are satisfied that the learned trial judge has not misdirected himself as averred in the Petition of Appeal. In the instant case we are satisfied that the learned JC had directed his mind to the relevant issues and had acted in accordance with the law with the full cognizance of the maximum evaluation and beyond reasonable doubt test as propounded by case laws. [see Public Prosecutor v Mohd Aszzid Abdullah  1 MLJ 281].
 After having given much consideration to the submission of the learned Deputy Public Prosecutor, we take the view that it is fit and proper case to allow the appeal solely on the issue of section 399 CPC and we would like to make it clear that we would have dismissed the appeal on merits. In consequence the appeal is allowed. The order of conviction and sentence of the High Court is set aside. The accused is acquitted and discharged.
We hereby order so.
Dated: 22nd February 2013 SGD
(DATUK DR. HJ. HAMID SULTAN BIN ABU BACKER)
Court of Appeal Malaysia
Note: Grounds of judgment subject to correction of error and editorial adjustment etc.
Mohd Ismail bin Mohamed Kuala Lumpur
Samihah bt. Rhazali Jabatan Peguam Negara Putrajaya.