KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian man was sentenced on Monday (Mar 11) to seven months’ jail for insulting Islam and Prophet Muhammad in a Facebook post.
The Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court also fined Mohamad Yazid Kong Abdullah RM10,000 (US$3,300), or two months’ jail in default for the post which was uploaded on the evening of Feb 24.
Judge Hasbullah Adam passed the judgment on the unemployed 52-year-old man after he maintained his guilty plea, which was first recorded on Mar 8.
The judge said Mohamad Yazid’s actions were serious. “The Federal Constitution states that the Islamic religion is the federal religion, your action truly challenged the Federal Constitution which formed the highest law in our country.
"You are fortunate for being charged under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 which only provided a maximum jail term of one year,” he added.
Mohamad Yazid Kong's wife and two-year-old son were present in court on Monday before proceedings began.
"You think about your son, how to eat every day,” his wife said, before she was calmed down by his lawyer.
Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission Deputy Public Prosecutor Muhamad Asyraf Md Kamal had appealed to the court to impose a heavy jail sentence and fine.
“No one in the multiracial community in this country can accept any form of insult on religion.
“If it is allowed to continue it could jeopardise harmony among the multiracial community in this country and subsequently threaten national security,” he said.
Counsel Muhammad Syafiq Salleh, who represented Mohamad Yazid, said his client had apologised to the court and Malaysia’s Muslim community for his actions.
Mohamad Yazid had also appealed for the most minimal jail term as he was a first offender and had pleaded guilty when he was first charged.
“My client converted to Islam when he wanted to marry his first wife previously and they have divorced. After converting to Islam, he had no guidance or support on Islamic teachings.
“He has five children, four with the first wife, a Malay woman, and one with the new wife, an Indonesian national,” he said.
Mohamad Yazid’s sentence comes just days after police announced that a Malaysian was sentenced to more than 10 years’ jail over insults against Islam and the Prophet Muhammad on social media.
Three others have also been charged over similar offences, Malaysia Police chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun said on Mar 9.
The sentence is believed to be the harshest such penalty on record in Malaysia, where concerns over racial and religious tensions have grown in recent months.