Factory worker jailed second time for insulting King on Instagram

KUALA LUMPUR: A factory worker was not repentant even after spending two months behind bars for insulting the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Raja Permaisuri Agong on his Instagram account last year, which triggered controversy and public ire.

Today, the sessions court sentenced Sharil Mohd Sarif, 37, to 10 months’ jail for each charge after he pleaded guilty to two counts of the same offence.

Judge M. M. Edwin Paramjothy also ordered both jail sentences to run concurrently from the date of arrest on March 2.

In his judgment, Edwin said it was clear that the accused had the intention to post offensive remarks on his Instagram.

“The language used by the accused was also abusive and obscene and had gone beyond freedom of speech,” he said.

Sharil was seen smiling after the sentence was passed. He will serve his sentence at Kajang prison.

According to the charge sheet, the accused made two offensive remarks with intent to annoy others on his Instagram account under the name s.sharilbinmohd between 10pm and 1pm on March 1.

Both the postings were read at the Cyber Crime and Multimedia Investigation Division Office of the Commercial Crime Investigation Department, Bukit Aman Police Headquarters, at the 27th floor of Menara KJP in Wangsa Maju here, at 4.06pm, on the same day.

The offence under Section 233 (1) (a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, punishable under Section 233 (3) of the same Act, provides for a maximum fine of RM50,000 or imprisonment for up to a year, or both, upon conviction.

Earlier, deputy public prosecutor Muhamad Asyraf Md Kamal asked the court to impose a deterrent sentence against the accused on grounds that the accused had been sentenced for a similar offence in April last year.

“His offensive remarks were made on the official Instagram account of Istana Negara during a live broadcast of the swearing-in ceremony of the eighth prime minister recently.

“The accused’s action has provoked rage and dissatisfaction from the public,” he said.

In mitigation, Sharil, who was unrepresented, pleaded for a fine on the grounds that he was unwell and his family’s sole breadwinner. - Bernama