PETALING JAYA: The 10-year jail term on a Facebook user who insulted Islam is excessive and an appeal should be made to reduce the sentence, says Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon.
The MCA deputy president expressed concern over the jail term and a RM50,000 fine meted on the Sarawakian who pleaded guilty to insulting Islam on Facebook.
Dr Mah said the party is consistent that everyone must be respectful and sensitive towards the religions of all Malaysians.
“MCA is well aware of the need to be respectful as we believe in a plural society. Those who ignore such respect must be punished but let’s not go overboard,” he said.
Dr Mah said the 10-year jail sentence was excessive, adding that he hopes that an appeal can be made to reduce the punishment.
“The offender pleaded guilty without legal representation. We hope the appeals court will consider the harsh sentence,” he said in a statement on Sunday (March 10).
Dr Mah also expressed concern over news reports that the offender’s family was denied access to him when he was remanded.
He added that the sentence should serve as a reminder to all Malaysians regardless of their race and religion.
“The authorities should also fairly act against those who insult other religions for justice to be seen.
“If the offenders are foreigners, they should be asked to leave and their visa or permanent residence status be revoked,” he said.