A woman in Selangor was fined RM30,000 after pleading guilty to owning and selling TV boxes that can stream pirated content
According to The Star, Ng Lee Lee became the first person to be punished in Malaysia for using TV boxes to illegally obtain entertainment content online.
Ng, who runs a business called Little Yap Resources, was caught in a raid of her premises at Taman Putra Prima, Sepang in December last year.
The 46-year-old was found in possession of six media boxes that have an application called MyTV.apk to obtain channels that can only be rightfully viewed with a paid subscription to Astro.
She was charged with six offences under Section 232(2) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998
Each of the offences carry a fine not exceeding RM300,000, imprisonment not exceeding three years, or both.
However, Astro Awani reported that Ng was only fined RM5,000 for each offence, or in default, one month's jail.
In making her plea at the Shah Alam sessions court on Tuesday, 16 February, Ng apologised to the court and promised not to repeat the crime.
The company director said she was aware that she was committing the offence, but decided to do so as her business had dropped by 80% due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Normally, we only sell empty hardware, but that day, the customer asked us to do this (install the app in the TV boxes)," she said, adding that only six out of the 55 TV boxes seized at her home had the illegal service.
Judge Muhamad Anas Mahadzir handed down the sentence after she finally pleaded guilty
"The court appreciates the honesty and guilty plea, but what's wrong is wrong because this is a very serious offence," the judge said.
Muhamad Anas added that the accused's act of selling the TV boxes was a form of piracy that benefits from other people's hard work.
Ng was represented by lawyer Low Li Qun while deputy public prosecutor Syazwani Zawawi prosecuted.
In 2019, then Finas chairman Datuk Hans Isaac already proposed holding homeowners accountable for illegal TV box usage: