MCA backs PKR rep’s review call for man convicted of insulting Islam

Chan said that locking up Alister, who has no prior conviction record, with hardened criminals would be detrimental to his and the society’s wellbeing. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Chan said that locking up Alister, who has no prior conviction record, with hardened criminals would be detrimental to his and the society’s wellbeing. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, March 11 — In a rare show of agreement, MCA today supported a PKR lawmaker’s review bid for a man sentenced to be jailed 10 years and fined RM10,000 for an offensive Facebook post against Islam.

The Barisan Nasional Chinese component’s publicity bureau called the sentence “excessive” against the 22-year-old man, Alister Cogia, who pleaded guilty.

“Sentencing a young adult whose mental capacity is in question behind bars for a decade as opposed to armed robbers, terrorists, sexual offenders, child abusers, wife batterers, assailants who are given lighter sentence is akin to weaponising the law to kill a mockingbird,” Chan Quin Er said in a statement representing MCA.

She said her party does not condone insults or slander against Islam or any other religion, but urged for justice to be tempered with mercy.

Chan added that locking up Alister, who has no prior conviction record, with hardened criminals would be detrimental to his and the society’s wellbeing.

The MCA spokesman also suggested that Alister be allowed to undergo counselling if the man who dropped out of school in Form One was found to have a learning disability.

Alister, who was unrepresented at the Sessions Court in Kuching last Friday, pled guilty to uploading offensive materials on Islam and Prophet Muhammad on social media.

Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How and a team of lawyers are seeking a review of Alister’s sentence.