KUALA LUMPUR, July 22 — Comedian Mohamad Rizal Johan Van Geyzel, who recently went viral for his stand-up routines which allegedly inflamed religious and racial sentiments, pled not guilty to three counts of cyber crime today at the at the Kuala Lumpur Cyber Crime Court.
The co-owner of the Crackhouse Comedy Club in Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) was charged before Judge Nor Hasniah Ab Razak under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) 1998, which criminalises "improper use of network facilities or network services” and is punished under Section 233(3) of the same act.
The 39-year-old, more commonly known as Rizal Van Geyzel, was allowed RM12,000 bail with one surety. He will also have to surrender his passport to the court, with a gag order on his social media.
His next court date will be on August 19.
The accusations were due to postings he had made on social media platforms Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.
Public prosecutor Noor Haslinda Che Seman argued for RM30,000 bail for all offences, for his passport to be surrendered and for a gag order on his social media accounts.
His lawyer, Ramkarpal Singh, requested for bail to be set at RM2,000 to RM3,000 with one surety, citing the precedent set by previous legal cases.
Ramkarpal said that the gag order was "with all due respect, going too far” and that RM30,000 bail was punitive in nature, reminding those present that bail is not meant to punish.
"There’s no reason to suspect [Rizal] of absconding,” he said.
It was previously reported that because of the videos of his comedy performances, Rizal and his family received death threats and the Crackhouse Comedy Club was vandalised with red and black paint.
The Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) had issued an order to temporarily shut down the venue.
Rizal’s comedy club has been making headlines since a video of a performance by Siti Nuramira Abdullah went viral when it was reposted with the caption calling the routine insulting to Islam.
Siti Nuramira was charged with Section 298A(1)(a) of the Penal Code while her partner Alexander Navin Vijayachandran, who recorded the performance and uploaded it online, was also charged under Section 233 of the CMA.