Danish citizen jailed under new Malaysian anti-fake news law
Danish citizen jailed under new Malaysian anti-fake news law
Danish man first person to be charged, convicted under Anti-Fake News Act
02 May, 2018, 02:02
Police records suggest it took only eight minutes to respond.
Sulaiman, the 46-year-old of Yemeni descent, however, was not aware of the "fake news" law and admitted his mistake while appearing before a court in Kuala Lumpur.
DANISH national Salah Salem Saleh Sulaiman has become the first person to be convicted under Malaysia's new anti-fake news law. Under the law, an individual convicted of spreading "fake news" can be sentenced to up to six years in prison and be fined 500,000 ringgit (US$128,000).
Local media quoted Salah, who was not represented by a lawyer, as telling the court that he had only been in Malaysia for 10 days and didn't know the country had an anti-fake news law.
Sulaiman was charged with spreading fake news after posting a video on YouTube accusing police of taking 50 minutes to respond to distress calls following the shooting of a Palestinian lecturer on April 21. He pleaded guilty, but said the video was posted in a "moment of anger" and he did not mean any harm.
Judge Zaman Mohamad Noor awarded him one-week imprisonment and fined him 10,000 ringgit (Rs 1,66,225).
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The legislation was approved by parliament earlier this month despite criticism that it was aimed at silencing dissent ahead of a May 9 general election.
Police said they were pursuing suspects in the killing. If he can not pay the fine, Sulaiman will have to serve another month behind bars. Malaysia's inspector-general of police, Mohamad Fuzi Harun, said a day after the shooting that their records showed a distress call was received at 6:41am and a patrol auto arrived at the scene eight minutes later. The law applies to offenders outside Malaysia and includes foreigners, if the country or any of its citizens are affected.
Malaysia's new fake news laws have been criticised by some for fear that that they will be used tom quash reporting of the corruption scandal now engulfing Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Fake news is not just a problem experienced in the USA, but in other countries as well where it has been found that the propagation of fake news could somehow affected elections.
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