KUALA LUMPUR, June 6 — Graphic artist Fahmi Reza pleaded not guilty today to a charge under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 for posting on social media an image depicting Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in clown make-up.
If found guilty of the charge under Section 233(1) of the Act, the activist faces a RM50,000 fine, a one-year jail term, or both.
Judge Mohd Zulbahrin Zainuddin set bail at RM5,000.
“This case is just regarding the picture of the clown,” Fahmi’s lead counsel Syahredzan Johan said later.
Section 233(1)(a) on the improper use of network facilities states that a person who spreads content deemed to be “obscene, indecent, false, menacing or offensive in character with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass another person” is found to have committed an offence under the Act.
According to the charge sheet, Fahmi is alleged to have spread the image which was “false in nature” with the intention of “hurting someone else’s feelings”.
The charge sheet also stated that the complainant viewed the image on February 1, a day after it was uploaded on his Instagram account with the handle @kuasasiswa.
The judge set June 17 for case mention.
Fahmi may be facing another charge under the same section of the Act for allegedly intentionally posting a fake Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission poster, also bearing the clown caricature, on his Facebook page on February 8.
On Saturday, Fahmi was also detained and questioned under the Sedition Act for selling #KitaSemuaPenghasut T-shirts.