Remember Eric Liew, an IT manager who insulted the former King on social media last month? FeedMe Malaysia reported the furore and even cited a netizen calling Liew to be put in jail. The netizen referred to an incident back in April 2017 where a 44-year-old woman was sentenced to imprisonment for eight months after spreading false information about Sultan Muhammad V.
It looks like Eric Liew cannot dodge the bullet as he was charged in the court today (Feb 11) for spreading obscene and indecent comments with an intent to harass or abuse someone.
According to Malaysiakini, his full name is revealed as Eric Liew Chee Ling, a 46-year-old sales manager of a private company. Clad in a blue-collar shirt, Liew appeared in Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur today to face two charges under Section 233 (1) (a) and Section 233(3) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.
The charges were read to Liew by Judge MM Edwin Paramjothy, stating that the former committed the offence in the evening of January 6. The insulting comment was directed at the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
FeedMe Malaysia sighted the screenshot of the derogatory remark which Liew suggested that the former King abdicated his royal stint because he was busy having an adultery relationship with the new bride.
The comment was made on a Facebook post in a TTDI community group to which he apologized for having a “bad taste” after the screenshot had gone viral.
The IT company Liew was working at took to Facebook to announce that he was no longer part of the company the next day.
Liew pleaded not guilty to the charges and claimed trial. If convicted, he could face up to one year imprisonment, RM50,000 fine, or both, NST reported.
The deputy public prosecutor of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), Muhamad Asyraf Md Kamal requested to impose RM20,000 bail on Liew with one surety, contending that the offence touched on the personal life of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Liew’s defence lawyer New Sin Yew begged for leniency by setting the bail at a reasonable sum. Judge MM Edwin Paramjothy then granted the bail at RM8,000 with one surety and set March 26 for case mention.
FMT reported last month that three individuals were arrested for the same offence after receiving police reports from members of the public. Other than Liew, Azham Akhtar Abdullah, 27, and Nur Alia Astaman, 26, were also arrested. The trio was investigated under Section 4 (1) of the Sedition Act.
According to Royal Central, one of the individuals appeared to tweet: “Leave him be. Let’s not have royals anymore”, while another posted “F*** Royals”.
Lawyer group Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) questioned the authorities swift response to arrest these individuals, calling it a “mob rule”. LFL also criticised the sedition act as it is a “draconian piece of legislation.”
Meanwhile, the Inspector-General advised the public to “Use social media prudently and refrain from making statements that are provocative or that misconstrue the abdication of Yang di-Pertuan Agong XV, to the extent of causing a negative perception toward the royal institution of this country.”
You can watch the video coverage of the news on the next page.