Friday, March 13, 2009

Bloggers beware - 6 Malaysians charged in court over web posting, insulting the Sultan of Perak

Beware what you post on the internet / blogs....

Source : The Star online

KUALA LUMPUR: In the first conviction of its kind, lab assistant Azrin Md Zain, 33, was fined RM10,000 or, in default, five months jail, at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court for posting comments insulting the Sultan of Perak on the Internet on Feb 12.

He became the first ever person to be convicted under the Multimedia and Communications Act 1998 and was among the six charged Friday in courts nationwide for similar offences.

Azrin admitted to have sent his comments to the guests book at which has linked to the Sultan’s official website with intention to annoy other person.

The father of one has committed the offence using his personal Internet protocol account at his house in Taman Tun Dr Ismail here at 9.12pm on Feb 12.

According to the facts of the case, information technology officer Noorhaliza Masri, from Perak secretariat office, lodged a complaint at Multimedia Communications Commission on Feb 16 upon detecting the posting which insulted the Sultan.

The Telekom Malaysia had confirmed that Azrin had used TM Net Streamyx on that day.

The commission had obtained a search warrant from Kajang magistrate’s court on Feb 19 to check at his house and seized a laptop, a modem and a telephone bill dated Dec 28 last year registered under his name.

On Friday, Azrin told Sessions Court judge Rozana Ali Yusoff that it was his own mistake for committing the offence.

“I was not in the right state of mind. I was in the midst of doing online forex trading to New York. My profits were negative. So I just clicked to the website. I posted the comments without thinking.

“I will not touch the website anymore because the Malaysians are actually sensitive,” he promised.

The diploma holder repeatedly expressed his regrets to the judge.

In mitigating further, Azrin said he was not a member of any political party.

“I have also clicked on a website which praised Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak,” said Azrin who stood near the witness stand and promised to be a law abiding citizen if he got a lenient sentence.

DPP Nahra Dolah however pressed for deterrent sentence saying that the case involved public interest and the court had to send a strong message to Internet users about the gravity of the offence.

At the same court, self-employed Muslim Ahmad, 54, claimed trial to three counts of posting offensive remarks against the Sultan in February.

In the Butterworth Sessions Court, Penang, Chan Hon Keong, 27, pleaded not guilty while Khoo Hui Shuang was absent and was summoned for mention of the case on April 15.

The two were accused of posting and distributing comments containing obscenities and offensive comments on a website linked to the Sultan of Perak’s website.

At the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court, land surveyor Nor Hisham Osman, 36, claimed trial to defaming the Sultan of Perak.

Judge Balqis Ainin Mohd fixed bail at RM4,000 with one surety and fixed next hearing on Apr 14.

Meanwhile, in Kota Kinabalu, Bernama reported that a mobile phone salesman pleaded not guilty to spreading a comment which insulted the Sultan of Perak through a website.

Rutinin Suhaimin, 36, was charged with committing the offence on Feb 13 and linking the offensive remarks to the website with link to a website on the Sultan Perak,

If found guilty, Rutinin can be jailed for up to a year or fined up to RM50,000, or both.

Sessions Court judge Ummu Kalthom Abdul Samad fixed May 25 and 26 for trial and allowed bail of RM10,000 with a deposit RM5,000 and two sureties.

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