PETALING JAYA: An academic has questioned a six-month imprisonment slapped on a delivery worker for posting comments online deemed insulting to the police force.
Tajuddin Rasdi said the judge should have been more lenient with the accused as he was a first time offender.
“A warning or a fine of RM200 is enough for a poor man like him. Why six months’ jail? Some people who swindled millions of ringgit are still free,” said the lecturer who teaches at USCI University.
Last week, Mohd Hannan Ibrahim, 27, from Kampung Parit Tengah, Pekan, pleaded guilty at the Sessions Court under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.
Hannan, who delivers fish for a living, was charged with insulting the police in a Facebook message responding to news of an accident that had claimed the lives of two policemen.
“Padan muka polis segelintir jahat hahahahahahaha hahahah,” he reportedly said.
Tajuddin said the judge should have been more compassionate and take into account Hannan’s background.
“Where is the justice for this man?” he asked.
He said people must be given the opportunity to rehabilitate themselves.
Hannan’s jailing was also criticised by other Malaysians on social media, who say he should have been given a chance.
“What do the family eat when he is in jail for six months? Perhaps the ministry concerned should look into their welfare.
“He had expressed regret and should be forgiven with a stern warning and be bound over for a year which would suffice to warn others not to do the same thing!” said Facebook user Chengkeat Lau.
Troy Medici recalled the case of a Datin who had her eight-year jail term suspended for abusing her maid.
“That is a far more severe case – attempted murder on her maid Suyanti Sutrinso, who then sustained severe injuries,” he said, referring to the case involving Rozita Mohamad Ali which sparked outrage among Malaysians.
“Is a six-month jail sentence only for the poor?” he asked.
Another Facebook user said there were many abuses committed by police on its detainees, but the perpetrators were only transferred or reassigned to a desk job.