The son of a former Malaysian lawmaker has denied the charges of damaging idols at a Hindu temple in Ipoh.

The 29-year-old, Fathi Munzir Nadzri, was charged under section 295 of the penal code and accused of damaging the idols and the temple property of Sree Muneeswaran Amman Kovil temple on April 24.

If he is found guilty, he could be sentenced to two years of jail.

The doctor pleaded not guilty before the sessions judge, Ikmal Hishan Mohd Tajuddin. There was heavy security at the court compound while the accused was brought by the police convoy to the court.

He has also been charged under section 6 of the Corrosive, Explosive and Dangerous Weapons Act for having a knife (parang) during the incident. He might have to face punishment leading to 10 years in jail and whipping if he is convicted.

State prosecution director Yusaini Amer Abdul Karim led the prosecution while the accused was represented by Mohamad Hafiz Jalaludin and Mior Fadhli Mior Shaifuddin.

Yusaini cited Section 342 of the Criminal Proce­dure Code and requested the judge to refer this case to the physicians of Hospital Bahagia Ulu Kinta to keep Dr. Fathi under observation for psychological evaluation for a month.

The court granted this request and has set a bail at RM 8,000 with one surety for both charges pending the evaluation. The judge has fixed May 30 for the next hearing of this case.

Munzir's family members including his father, former Manjoi assemblyman Datuk Nadzri Ismail, were present at the court. They hugged Munzir while he was taken by the police after the court session.

On the other hand the Health Ministry director-general, Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, said: "Dr Fathi Munzir had not declared any psychological illness with the ministry or the Malaysian Medical Council," reports The Star. "Let the police handle the matter," added Dr Noor Hisham.

He also informed that the accused had worked for five days as a houseman at a government hospital. But two days before the incident he resigned from his work.

Contradicting this statement, the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said Fatih Munzir did indeed seek treatment for mental illness, but the treatment was done at a private hospital in Ipoh.