Yesterday I posted Insulting Perak Sultan - punishment must fit the crime! based on a Malaysiakini news article titled Six in court for insulting sultan, one fined RM10,000
Some of my readers still don’t get it, that the posted 'insult' to the Sultan is not a major crime. I would consider it as only a minor misdemeanour.
We no longer live in the days of Hang Tuah where the Sultan could order a citizen killed. My great grandfather who came from southern Thailand told us that in ye olde rotten days, the Sultan there would bury anyone he didn't like right up to that poor bastard's neck (in front of his Istana) and let the unfortunate soul die slowly out of thirst.
OK, back to the present - and what was the associated charge for the 'insult' to the Sultan?
Section 233 (1)(A) of the Multimedia and Communications Act 1998 for "unwise use of network or network services for making comments, demands, suggestions or communication which are vulgar, false, threatening or disturbing".
And what was the poor bastard’s precise ‘unwise use of network or network services’ that saw him being fined a humongous RM10K, an amount equal to 6 months of his salary.
Bloke wrote (translated from Malay by Malaysiakini in Sultan's guestbook 'deactivated'):
What is the advantage of being the Sultan? Why should you be worshipped and glorified? You are just lucky that you were born in a royal family but the fact remains that you are only a human being and have nothing to be proud of. I will not worship a Sultan but you have been entrusted to fight for justice. It is unfortunate that you have betrayed it. Because of you, the people of Perak will have to suffer all over again.
Disrespectful certainly, but pray tell me, in all honesty and objectivity, where was it that was ‘vulgar, false, threatening or disturbing’?
And even if he were to be punished by the courts for disrespect, mind you for a first offence, should it be by a fine of half a year’s salary?
As I said in my previous blog, the quantum of the fine has been in itself an injustice.
Perhaps the title of my previous post should have been Insulting Perak Sultan - crime must fit the punishment! and not punishment must fit the crime!