Malaysian Man Imprisoned for Insulting Ramadan

Malaysian man sentenced to one year in prison for uploading an offensive comment about the Muslim holy fasting month.

Ben Ariel ,

Muslim prayer (illustration)
Muslim prayer (illustration)
Flash 90

A Malaysian man on Tuesday was sentenced to one year in prison for uploading an offensive comment about the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan on his Facebook page three months ago, the dpa news agency reports.

Chow Mun Fai, 36, a construction-site supervisor, posted a comment linking Ramadan, the Devil and a bak kut teh, a local pork dish, in June.

He pleaded guilty to posting an offensive comment with the intention to hurt others' feelings, under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, according to lawyer Ahmad Ridza Noh.

"Public interest is served in this case by showing that people cannot hide behind social media when making such statements," Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court Judge Azman Mustapha was quoted by dpa as saying.

Malaysia has a record of prohibiting free speech. Several months ago it banned the usage of the word "Allah," which is simply the equivalent of "G-d" in the Malay language, for all non-Muslims.

The country has also gone so far as to ban a translation of the comic book "Ultraman, The Ultra Power," for using the word "Allah" in reference to the monster-fighting hero.

Malaysia has banned travel to Israel as well, given that the Muslim country does not have diplomatic ties with the Jewish state and, last month launched an investigation against a local teen after he "liked" a pro-Israel Facebook post.

The country also has been used as a terror training ground, as revealed last month when a senior Hamas commander captured in Gaza confessed to having been sent to Malaysia for paragliding training, in an effort to develop skills to infiltrate Israel and conduct an attack.



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