JB T-shirt seller pleads not guilty to 10 counts of making religious insults

JOHOR BARU: A 39-year-old man has pleaded not guilty at the Sessions Court here to 10 charges of insulting Islam.

The accused, Alimuddin Mohd Hayat, made the plea after the charges were read to him in two separate courtrooms here on Wednesday (June 7).

The first six charges were read in Sessions Court 1 in front of Judge Datuk Ahmad Kamal Arifin Ismail.

The remaining four charges were read at Sessions Court 3 in front of Judge VM Mabel Sheela.

According to the charge sheet, the accused, who works at Bazar Karat Johor Baru, sent a text that was insulting in nature against the Islamic faith.

The text was uploaded on a Facebook account belonging to "Ali Tikos" with the intent to hurt other people's feelings and was read on April 26, 2023, at 10pm at Blok B, Rumah Pangsa Awam Larkin, Johor Baru.

The act is an offence under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act, which outlines the improper use of network facilities or services.

It carries a maximum fine of RM50,000, a maximum jail term of one year, or both, and a further fine of RM1,000 for each day the offence continues, upon conviction.

The prosecution was conducted by Deputy Public Prosecutors Umar Faiz Abdul Kohar, Noor Idayu Salim, and S. Thiviya, while the accused was unrepresented.

During proceedings, Noor Idayu requested bail be set at RM15,000 for each charge.

In mitigation, the accused, who is a single father, requested a lower bail as he only earns between RM300 and RM400 and is currently taking care of his two daughters, aged four and eight.

Judge Ahmad Kamal Arifin then allowed bail to be set at RM9,000 with one surety for the six charges.

For the remaining four charges, Judge Mabel Sheela had applied the same bail as the cases would be transferred to Sessions Court 1.

The court then set July 9 for the case's next mention.

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