Hawker gets 30 months’ jail for insulting Islam, fireman Adib

Hawker Chow Mun Fai (centre) at an earlier hearing at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court. (Bernama pic.)

KUALA LUMPUR: A hawker was sentenced to 30 months’ jail by the Sessions Court here today for posting insulting remarks on social media on Prophet Muhammad, Islam and the death of firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim.

Judge MM Edwin Paramjothy handed down the sentence, fixed for today, on Chow Mun Fai, 43, who changed his plea to “guilty” on eight charges on June 18.

Chow had pleaded not guilty to the charges when he was first brought to the court on March 8.

Before handing down the sentence, Paramjothy said the court could not accept Chow’s action of giving negative comments about other people’s religion.

He said the action of the accused in posting offensive comments on Muhammad Adib’s death while everyone else was in grief and mourning the death also could not be accepted by the court.

“The actions of the accused were excessive and went beyond the limit of freedom of expression,” said the judge, adding that these actions were planned as they were done repeatedly.

Paramjothy sentenced Chow to between seven and 30 months’ jail on each count, to be served concurrently from the date of his arrest, March 6.

On the first count, Chow was charged with intending to cause public mischief by posting offensive remarks on Muhammad Adib’s death on his Twitter account, using the profile name [email protected], at 8.07am on Feb 13.

He was also charged with three counts of uploading postings that insulted Prophet Muhammad on social media which could cause disharmony between Muslims and non-Muslims.

The offences were committed at 2.29pm and 7.06 pm on March 2 and 13, respectively.

Chow was also charged under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 with four counts of using his Twitter profile to transmit offensive tweets with the intention of causing annoyance to others. These offences were committed at the same place and time.

All the postings were read at the federal police Cyber and Multimedia Crime Investigation Division, Commercial Crime Investigation Department at Menara KPJ here at 8.30pm on March 3.

Deputy public prosecutor Muhamad Asyraf Md Kamal appeared for the prosecution, while Chow was represented by lawyer Mohan Raj.