(Corrected 4:25pm, 13 March 2009)
KUALA LUMPUR, 13 March 2009: A school laboratory assistant was fined RM10,000 in default five months jail by the Sessions Court here today for posting comments insulting the Sultan of Perak on a website, the first such case in the country.
Azrin Md Zain, 33, who works at a private school, pleaded guilty to posting the comments at http://books.dreambook.com/duli/duli.html which is linked to the Sultan of Perak’s website, www.sultan.perak.gov.my, with intention to offend others.
He committed the offence at No. 8, Jalan Aminuddin Baki, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, at 9.12pm on 9 Feb 2009.
The offence, under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications And Multimedia Act 1998 (corrected), carries a maximum RM50,000 fine or a minimum one year’s jail or both on conviction.
This is the first case under this section in the country’s legal history.
Judge Rozana Ali Yusoff, in passing sentence, said Azrin should not have committed the offence because it would have an impact on others. She said that she had to impose a deterrent sentence in the public’s interest.
Azrin, who was unrepresented, made his mitigation outside the dock because it was a summons case.
He said he regretted his action and that it occurred when he was busy surfing the website buying shares. In fury, he had entered the site and made the comments which he should not have.
“I’ve no money and don’t want to be jailed. I hope for a lenient sentence and promise not to touch on such matters again. I know that people are offended. If I commit the offence a second time, I deserve to go to jail,” he said.
Deputy public prosecutor Nahra Dollah, however, pressed for a deterrent sentence to serve as a lesson to the public not to insult the institution of the monarchy.
“The sentence will send the message to those outside, especially the young generation, many of whom use the internet,” she said.
Azrin was shocked at the RM10,000 fine and asked the court to reduce it to RM2,000 but Rozana said: “If you have no money, you have to go to jail for five months.”
In KOTA KINABALU, a mobile phone salesperson today pleaded not guilty to spreading a comment which insulted Sultan Azlan Shah, through the same website.
Rutinin Suhaimin, 36, was charged under the same law – Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act – with committing the offence at Block A, Lot 4, Kedai Sedco, Kundasang in Ranau, on 13 Feb 2009 at 6.33pm.
He is alleged to have knowingly made and sent the comment, “Sultan sudah gila!!!” to the website.
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 25 and 26 May for trial and allowed bail of RM10,000 with a deposit of RM5,000 and two sureties.
DPP Salim Soib appeared for the prosecution while Rutinin was represented by lawyer Muammar Julkarnain. — Bernama