On Friday, 3 July, a retiree was fined RM2,000 by the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court for criticising Health Minister Dr Adham Baba
According to a Bernama report, the retiree used his Facebook account to commit the offence.
He was charged under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, which is punishable by a maximum fine of RM50,000, or up to a years' jail, or both, if convicted.
An additional fine of RM1,000 is imposed for each day the offence is repeated after conviction.
The 57-year-old accused pleaded guilty to the charge.
During sentencing, Judge M. M. Edwin Paramjothy ordered the retiree, identified as Abdullah Sani Ahmad, to serve a month's imprisonment in default if he failed to pay the RM2,000 fine.
Judge Edwin noted that while the criticism was "not overboard and malicious in nature", he said the court agreed with the prosecution's arguments about being more sensitive when posting on social media
The Bernama report did not specify what did Abdullah post on his Facebook account but noted that he made the "insulting remarks against the Health Minister" almost four months back.
"Abdullah Sani was charged with making insulting remarks against the Health Minister, with the intention to hurt others, on his Facebook account under the name 'Sani Ahmad' at 11.45pm on 31 March."
At 8am, the next day, 1 April, his post was read at the Ministry of Health (MOH) headquarters.
Later, a complainant from the MOH office lodged a police report, according to the facts of the case.
The prosecution had asked for a deterrent sentence that "reflects the severity of the offence" — criticising an elected representative
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Annur Atiqah Abd Hadi argued that the court should "impose a sentence that will serve as a lesson to the accused and also to the public".
According to DPP Annur, people have to be considerate before making social media postings.
However, an unrepresented Abdullah pleaded for leniency on the grounds that he had repented.
"I request to be sentenced today as it is quite a distance for me to travel from Jitra, Kedah. This is my first offence and I promise not to repeat it anymore," he told the court.