Gardener Changes Mind, Pleads Guilty to Insulting Agong on FB

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A gardener, who had pleaded not guilty to a charge of insulting the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Facebook, changed his plea to guilty when the case came up for mention at the Sessions Court today.

Sharil Mohd Sarif, 36, made the guilty plea before judge MM Edwin Paramjothy, who fixed April 26 for sentencing.

Sharil was accused of using the Facebook profile “Shahril Chain” for the posting at 11.30am on March 13.

He was charged under Section 233 (1) (a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, which provides a maximum fine of RM50,000 or imprisonment for up to a year, or both, upon conviction and a fine of RM1,000 for every day that the offence is repeated after conviction.

Earlier, deputy public prosecutor Muhamad Asyraf Md Kamal sought a heavy penalty and fine on grounds that Sharil had violated the Federal Constitution by making insulting comments against the Agong.

He said the offence was serious.

Lawyer M Dinesh, representing Sharil, said his client could not afford to pay a fine with his income of RM1,000 a month.

He pleaded for the minimum jail sentence, saying Sharil is the sole breadwinner in the family, with a wife and four children, aged between five and 12 years, to support.

Paramjothy also set April 26 for mention of a case involving customer service personnel TR Thurkai Devi, 32, who was charged with the same offence.

Thurkai was charged with using the Facebook profile “Thurkai Devi Tangga Raja” to put up her post at 11.17am on June 4, 2018.

She was not represented in court.