KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 — Graphic artist Fahmi Reza claimed trial today to a second criminal charge under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 over a clown sketch of the prime minister.
Fahmi was charged at the Ipoh Sessions Court this morning under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act, accused of intentionally hurting people’s feelings, by allegedly posting on Facebook a fake warning poster by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) that depicted an image of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in clown makeup.
His lawyer, Melissa Sasidaran, said they argued for a lesser bail at the Ipoh Sessions Court after the deputy public prosecutor demanded for a RM10,000 bail, although the judge later set it at RM7,000 with one guarantor.
“We argued for a lesser sum because the bail is only meant to secure his attendance to court and before this, [when] the police called him to give statement, he came back from Thailand to Malaysia to cooperate,” she told Malay Mail Online.
“He cooperated the entire way and he was present in court today. So, I argued that the bail should not be a high amount so as to have the effect on punishing him before he was convicted.”
Fahmi was accused of committing the offence under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act — which prohibits the online distribution of content deemed to be “obscene, indecent, false, menacing or offensive in character with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass another person”— on February 8 through his Facebook page.
The charge sheet also stated that the complainant viewed the image on the same day at around 2.40pm in Ipoh, Perak.
The fake MCMC warning poster shows a picture of Najib in clown makeup with the MCMC logo on top along with the caption, “Stop spreading disgraceful pictures of national leaders”.
Case mention has been set for June 27.
A conviction will result in a maximum fine of RM50,000 or a maximum one-year jail term or both.
Fahmi was charged last Monday in Kuala Lumpur under the same Act for allegedly posting an image of Najib in clown makeup on January 31 through his Instagram account @kuasasiswa.