Retiree fined RM2,000 for posting insulting remarks against health minister

Judge M. M. Edwin Paramjothy sentenced Abdullah Sani Ahmad, 57, after he pleaded guilty to the charge. The court also ordered him to serve a month’s imprisonment if he failed to pay the fine. — Reuters pic
Judge M. M. Edwin Paramjothy sentenced Abdullah Sani Ahmad, 57, after he pleaded guilty to the charge. The court also ordered him to serve a month’s imprisonment if he failed to pay the fine. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, July 3 — A retiree was fined RM2,000 by the Sessions Court here today for posting insulting remarks against Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba via his Facebook account.

Judge M. M. Edwin Paramjothy sentenced Abdullah Sani Ahmad, 57, after he pleaded guilty to the charge. The court also ordered him to serve a month’s imprisonment if he failed to pay the fine.

Edwin said the court agreed with arguments put forward by the prosecution that the accused had to be more sensitive when making social media postings.

However, taking into account the criticism posted, in which Edwin said was not overboard and malicious in nature, the accused was penalised with a RM2,000 fine.

Abdullah Sani was charged with making insulting remarks against the Health Minister, with the intention to hurt others, on his Facebook account under the name “Sani Ahmad” at 11.45pm on March 31 in which the remarks were read at the Health Ministry (MOH) headquarters in Putrajaya at 8am the next day.

The offence under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 is punishable by a maximum fine of RM50,000, or up to a years’ jail, or both, if convicted; and also a further fine of RM1,000 for each day the offence is repeated after conviction.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Annur Atiqah Abd Hadi asked the court for a deterrent sentence that reflects the severity of the offence.

“I ask the court to impose a sentence that will serve as a lesson to the accused and also to the public so as to be more sensitive and considerate before making social media postings,” he said.

In mitigation, Abdullah Sani, who was unrepresented, pleaded for a lenient sentence on the grounds that he had repented. 

“I request to be sentenced today as it is quite a distance for me to travel from Jitra, Kedah.

“This is my first offence and I promise not to repeat it anymore,” he said.

The case facts state that the complainant, from the MOH office, had read a comment posted by the accused on Facebook and later lodged a police report on the matter. — Bernama

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