‘Allah’ socks issue: Sabahan sentenced to six months of jail for insulting Islam on Facebook

KOTA KINABALU, March 21 — A Sabahan Muslim convert was sentenced to six months in jail for insulting Islam on a Facebook page today.

The 33-year-old property negotiator, Ricky Shane Cagampang, pleaded guilty to posting offensive remarks on Facebook over the issue of the word “Allah” on socks and was sentenced to six months imprisonment and a fine of RM15,000 which if unpaid, will result in another four months jail.

Sessions Court judge Amir Shah Amir Hassan in his sentencing said that cases like this should be severely punished as anyone could easily say anything through social media these days and although the law also does not prevent anyone from voicing their opinion, it must be within legal restrictions.

“In this case, the accused has gone beyond the restrictions of the law which not only causes pain or annoyance to the complainant, but also other Muslims out there who can access the accused’s posts. This is inappropriate because, at this age, the accused should be mature in voicing his opinion. And for that reason, the accused must be responsible for his own actions,” he said.

He added that the punishment was not because of sentiment but a form of teaching and prevention to not insult any religion and hoped that it would do away with the culture of “do it first and apologise later” and instead “think carefully before doing it.”

Ricky, who had converted to Islam in March 2021, said he felt remorse and that he had deleted his post which was made on the Facebook page of the English daily New Straits Times on March 17.

He admitted his thoughtlessness and carelessness and deleted his comments made within two or three minutes after being posted.

State Prosecution Director Nahra Dollah submitted that the accused act had caused uproar and disharmony in a multicultural society.

Meanwhile, city police chief assistant commissioner Mohd Zaidi Abdullah said that the man, who posted under the Facebook name Ricky Shane CA was contacted on March 17 after receiving police reports on the matter.

“The incident, which had spread on social media, involved comments that were deemed insulting to Islam. Subsequent to these comments, members of the public who are Muslims expressed dissatisfaction with the suspect’s actions, considering them provocative and insulting to Islam, resulting in various negative comments from individuals,” said Mohd Zaidi in a statement here.

The suspect provided a statement on the same day pursuant to the investigation according to Section 298 of the Penal Code and 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998. for insulting any religion.

The suspect was charged under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.




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