Legal experts raise alarm bells over Fahmi’s conviction

Source: The Malaysian Insight

Legal experts say graphic designer Fahmi Reza’s sentence to one month in jail and a fine of RM30,000 for insulting Prime Minister Najib Razak with a clown face caricature posted on Facebook was undemocratic and unacceptable. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, February 20, 2018.

ABSURD, undemocratic and totally unacceptable.

These were the general consensus among legal experts on the one month jail sentence and a hefty fine imposed on graphic designer Fahmi Reza by the Ipoh Sessions Court today for posting an edited image of Prime Minister Najib Razak on Facebook.

The court decision raised alarm bells, with one law expert questioning if Malaysia was emulating Thailand where punitive measures are taken against those who criticised the country’s monarch.

Universiti Malaya law lecturer Azmi Sharom said if laws were used selectively to protect one individual or a special group from legitimate criticism, it echoes of “lese majeste” (insulting the monarch or other ruler).

Thailand has a strict draconian lese-majeste law which forbids any insult to the monarchy.

Azmi said the decision against Fahmi also placed restrictions on the freedom of speech and made it an offence if anyone poked fun at a politician. Read more

Fahmi Reza jailed one month, fined RM30,000 over offensive caricature of PM

Source: The Star Online

Pic drawn from The Star Online

Fahmi Reza — Pic drawn from The Star Online

IPOH: Activist and graphic designer Fahmi Reza (pic) has been sentenced to one month’s jail and fined RM30,000 for posting a caricature of a national leader on social media.

Fahmi, 40, whose full name is Mohd Fahmi Reza Mohd Zarin, was found guilty by the Sessions Court here Tuesday (Feb 20) of uploading an edited image of the Prime Minister on Facebook with the intention to offend.

He was charged with committing the offence on Feb 8, 2016 at 12.31pm.

Mohd Fahmi was charged under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, which is punishable under Section 233(3) of the same Act.

Judge Norashima Khalid also ordered the accused to be jailed an additional six months if he fails to pay the fine. Read more

Activist Fahmi Reza charged with distribution of offensive caricature of PM

Source: The Star

Pic drawn from The Star Online

Pic drawn from The Star Online

IPOH:  Activist and graphic designer Fahmi Reza (pic) has been ordered by a Sessions Court here to enter his defence to a charge of posting a caricature image of a national leader on his Facebook account.

Fahmi, 40, whose full name is Mohd Fahmi Reza Mohd Zarin, had allegedly posted an edited image of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on his Instagram account on Jan 31, 2016.

He has been charged at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court for the offence.

For the charge in Ipoh, Mohd Fahmi was said to have uploaded the image intentionally on his Facebook account on Feb 8, 2016.

Sessions Court judge Norashima Khalid instructed Mohd Fahmi to enter his defence after the prosecution proved a prime facie case against him.

He choose to give sworn evidence from the dock. He was represented by counsel Syahredzan Johan, while Nazrul Nizam Zameri prosecuted.

Mohd Fahmi was charged under Section 233 (1) (a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 which carries a sentence of one year imprisonment, a RM50,000 fine or both.

Keep online speech free — Gurdial Singh Nijar

Source: The Sun Daily

(Deputy President, HAKAM)

FORTY-SIX people are facing possible imprisonment and fines for sending online messaging to others. Through tweets, SMS, WhatsApp, blogs and the like. Cartoonists, politicians, activists and the like have all been hauled up.

This is under section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998. It is a crime to send a public electronic message that is obscene, indecent, false, menacing or offensive with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass another person. The offender can be jailed for up to one year or fined RM50,000 or both; as well as a further fine of RM1,000 for every day the offence is continued after conviction.

How really can you measure whether or not a message is annoying or menacing? And who decides? These terms are not defined. Nor any criteria spelt out to guide people.

Read more

Federal Court sends Fahmi Reza case to Sessions Court

Source: The Star Online

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has sent the case involving activist Fahmi Reza to the Sessions Court, after ruling that there was a procedural error in the constitutional challenge against the charges.

In delivering the decision of the panel, Court of Appeal president Justice Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin said the case was not properly brought to the apex court, due to non-compliance with the Courts of Judicature Act.

The panel, which also included Justices Azahar Mohamed, Zaharah Ibrahim, Balia Yusof Wahi and Dr Prasad Sandosham Abraham also set aside the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s order to have the matter brought to the Federal Court.

The prosecution had obtained the order on Feb 23 when they submitted a motion that only the Federal Court was empowered to address questions of constitutionality. Read more

Man charged over photo allegedly insulting PM and wife

Source: FMT News

Facebook posting of photo of man allegedly holding placard with obscene words sees him charged with 'intent to upset others', which carries a maximum fine of RM50,000. Pic from FMT News.

Facebook posting of photo of man allegedly holding placard with obscene words sees him charged with ‘intent to upset others’, which carries a maximum fine of RM50,000. Pic from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: A self-employed man claimed trial at the Magistrate’s Court today on two charges of allegedly uploading a photo of himself holding a placard with vulgar words that were deemed as insulting the prime minister and his wife.

Kum Eng Choon from Klang, was charged under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act with the intention to upset others, through his Facebook account, “Kum Dage”.

If found guilty, he will face a maximum fine of RM50,000 or one year in jail, or both.

The 38-year-old also faces another charge for the same picture under Section 550 of the Penal Code for public mischief.

He is liable to be jailed up to two years, or pay a fine, or both, if convicted.

Magistrate Mahyuddin Mohmad Som granted Kum a bail of RM5,000 with a surety for the two charges. Read more

‘Superman’ Hew released on police bail

Source: FMT News

Pic from FMT News.

Pic from FMT News.

GEORGE TOWN: Former DAP member Hew Kuan Yau has been released on police bail after the three-day remand order expired today. He had been detained at the district police lock-up in Kulai, Johor.

Hew’s wife, Shannon Lew told FMT he was released from police custody at 12.55pm.

Lew also said Hew had finally broken his fast by having a bowl of curry mee, upon her insistence.

Hew, who goes by the nickname “Superman”, had earlier vowed to go on a hunger strike following his arrest.

Yesterday, police sent Hew to the hospital for a check-up following his hunger strike. He was given a clean bill of health and sent back to the police lock-up. Read more

Polis tahan lelaki dipercayai hina Sultan Johor di Facebook

Sumber: FMT News

JOHOR BAHRU: Seorang lelaki berusia 57 tahun ditahan polis semalam selepas dipercayai mengeluarkan kenyataan jelik dan menghasut terhadap Sultan Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar di sini.

Ketua Polis Johor Datuk Seri Wan Ahmad Najmuddin Mohd berkata lelaki itu ditahan susulan laporan penyalahgunaan laman media sosial mengandungi kenyataan jelik dan menghasut yang disifatkan boleh menggugat keharmonian serta kesejahteraan negara.

Beliau berkata lelaki itu ditahan dengan kerjasama Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah (JSJ) Ibu Pejabat Polis Daerah (IPD) Klang Selatan pada 10.45 malam setelah dipercayai bertanggungjawab membuat kenyataan jelik terhadap Sultan Johor.

“Suspek dipercayai membuat kenyataan itu melalui laman sosial Facebook…polis turut merampas sekeping kad sim dan sebuah telefon bimbit yang dipercayai digunakan oleh suspek,” katanya dalam kenyataan di sini, hari ini. Read more

Ratu Naga to face trial for online insult after losing constitutional challenge bid

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Facing the law: Syarul Ema Rena leaving the Sepang Sessions Court. Pic taken from The Star Online

Syarul Ema Rena, pic taken from The Star Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 19 — The Sessions Court today dismissed Syarul Ema Rena Abu Samah’s bid to proceed with her constitutionality challenge of a law criminalising online insults.

Her lawyer Melissa Sasidaran said her client, who is more popularly known as Ratu Naga, had applied to refer her constitutionality challenge to the High Court.

“The Sessions Court judge rejected our application so the case is now going for trial,” she told Malay Mail Online today.

“The judge said the application was premature because the trial hasn’t begun and the judge referred to the Federal Court case of Adam Adli, Fariz Musa, Mandeep Singh, Maria Chin,” she added. Read more

Fahmi Reza dibenar Mahkamah Tinggi terus cabar pertuduhan

Source: FMT News

KUALA LUMPUR: Mahkamah Tinggi Kuala Lumpur hari ini menolak bantahan timbalan pendakwa raya atas permohonan aktivis dan pelukis, Mohd Fahmi Reza Mohd Zarin, 39, untuk membatalkan pertuduhan memuat naik gambar menyerupai perdana menteri di akaun Instagramnya, Januari lepas.

Pesuruhjaya Kehakiman, Datuk Mohamad Shariff Abu Samah menolak bantahan awal timbalan pendakwa raya, Ahmad Nazneen Zulkifli dengan sebab Mahkamah Tinggi mempunyai bidang kuasa untuk mendengar permohonan Fahmi untuk membatalkan pertuduhan.

Mahkamah Tinggi menetapkan 23 Februari ini untuk mendengar penghujahan permohonan Fahmi untuk membatalkan pertuduhan itu. Read more