KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here today quashed the conviction and six-month jail sentence of a technician who pleaded guilty to posting offensive content on Facebook related to the sale of socks bearing the word Allah.

Justice Datuk Ahmad Bache made the ruling after allowing a review application filed by Chiok Wai Loong, 35, to set aside the conviction and sentence handed down on him by the Sessions Court on March 22.

“After hearing the arguments of parties (related to the case), the court overturned the Sessions Court judge’s decision regarding the conviction and sentence.

“Therefore, the court ordered the accused to be charged again at another Sessions Court as soon as possible,” he said.

Ahmad, in his judgement, said the court had examined the evidence notes presented during the case proceedings in the Sessions Court and found that the judge did not record the accused’s guilty plea according to the correct procedure.

“There was no mention that he (the accused) understood the charge and consequences (possible punishment) after he pleaded guilty. The judge only mentioned the charge and the sentence were read to him.

“The charge against him was too long, how can (the prosecution and the court) expect a layman like him to understand? He was also not represented by a lawyer that day,” said the judge.

On March 22, Chiok was sentenced to six months in jail and fined RM12,000 in default three months imprisonment, by the Sessions Court here after he pleaded guilty to insulting Islam.

Judge Suzana Hussin also ordered the prison sentence on Chiok Wai Long, 35, to begin from the date of his arrest, March 20.

Chiok was charged with posting offensive content on Facebook related to the sale of socks bearing the word Allah under the profile name ‘Chiok Wai Loong’ on March 18.

The charge framed under Section 231(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 and punishable under subsection 233(3) of the same act, carries a penalty of up to one year in jail or a fine of up to RM50,000, or both, upon conviction.

The prosecution was represented by deputy public prosecutor Datin Kalmizah Salleh, while Chiok was represented by N. Surendran.