BUTTERWORTH, June 1 — An engineer was momentarily dumbstruck today when he was given the maximum sentence by the Sessions Court here for posting comments deemed insulting to the Sultan of Perak, in his website three years ago.
Judge Ikmal Hishan Mohd Tajuddin sentenced Chan Hon Keong, 29, to a year’s jail and RM50,000 fine, in lieu of five month’s jail, after finding him guilty of the offence.
It is the maximum sentence provided under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.
Chan’s family members, including his wife, Khoo Hui Suang, 28, were also stunned upon hearing the sentence and broke into tears.
However, Ikmal Hishan allowed a stay of the sentence pending an appeal at the High Court and increased Chan’s bail to RM14,000.
Last April 15, Chan pleaded not guilty to committing the offence with his wife at their house in Permatang Pauh, near here at about 12.05am on February 13, 2009.
They were charged with improper use of network facilities or service by knowingly posting comments that insulted the sultan on the website.
However, Khoo was released after she was found not guilty at the end of the prosecution’s case, while Chan was ordered to enter his defence.
Earlier, deputy public prosecutor Lailawati Ali, who prosecuted, said that Chan, as an educated person, should not have abused the communication technology to insult another person, what more a person who was a ruler and a symbol of the people’s unity.
She requested the court to impose a heavy sentence as a deterrent to others.
In mitigation, lawyer Md Yusuf Idris, who represented Chan, said his client was recently employed and had to support his large family. — Bernama