Cops nab Penang man suspected of issuing Facebook threat against Perlis mufti

Perlis Mufti Datuk Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin speaks to reporters at Ilham Tower in Kuala Lumpur June 27, 2018. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Perlis Mufti Datuk Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin speaks to reporters at Ilham Tower in Kuala Lumpur June 27, 2018. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

PETALING JAYA, May 3 — A 36-year-old man was arrested in Penang less than 24 hours after he was alleged to have threatened to beat up Perlis Mufti Datuk Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin in a Facebook post.

Police nabbed the clerk at his home in Gelugor, according to Utusan Online.

Perlis police chief Datuk Noor Mushar Mohd confirmed the arrest, telling the Malay news portal that the case is being investigated under Section 506 of the Penal Code for criminal intimidation and Section 233 of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 for misuse of network facilities or network services to transmit communication deemed offensive or annoying to another person.

Mohd Asri lodged a police report in Padang Besar, Perlis yesterday evening over the Facebook threat by account user Sandev Sandev who said he wanted to beat up the mufti until he was injured.

The owner of the account also included a phone number and asked Mohd Asri to contact him before he comes looking for him.

On Monday, the 48-year-old Muslim cleric popularly known as Dr MAZA, an acronym of his initials, wrote on Facebook claiming that Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders did not do enough to defend Islam.

In response, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad called Mohd Asri “deaf” for not paying attention to the government’s efforts for Muslim welfare and other concerns.

This came following an earlier Facebook posting by Mohd Asri on the same day, where he criticised the recent arrest of independent Muslim preacher Muhammad Zamri Vinoth Kalimuthu for allegedly insulting Hinduism in a sermon.

Mohd Asri defended Vinoth, who was described as a student of controversial Indian Muslim preacher Dr Zakir Naik, claiming that the former had contributed to building good inter-religious relations and was arrested for only sharing his personal experience in converting to Islam.