Crime & Courts

Man fined RM23,000 for posting insult on military personnel killed in Lumut helicopter crash

TAIPING: A 35-year-old man was fined RM23,000 in default of three months' jail for making derogatory comments and posting insulting remarks on social media about the military personnel killed in the recent helicopter collision in Lumut, Perak.

Sessions Judge Nabisha Ibrahim meted out the sentence on Saifuddin Shafik after he pleaded guilty to the offence today.

Saifuddin, who worked as an online seller, said he was remorseful for his actions and claimed that he had bipolar disorder.

"I was aware while making those remarks... I deeply regret my actions and it is highly unlikely for me to have made those remarks if I did not have bipolar disorder.

"I sincerely apologise to the families of the victims, the Armed Forces, and the public who were affected by my remarks," he said when approached after paying the fine.

He said he would deactivate his X account (formerly Twitter) to prevent such incidents from happening again.

"I truly regret my behaviour, which is unacceptable for anyone, especially in the midst of such tragedy," he said.

Saifuddin was accused of initiating the post on X under the profile name "Saifuddin Shafik@saishafik" with intention to hurt others at 1.15pm on April 23. The comment was read at Gedung Sari Jalan Harmoni Pusat Bandar Bagan Serai at 6.30pm the same day.

The offence is punishable with imprisonment not exceeding one year or a maximum RM50,000 fine, or both, upon conviction.

Nabisha said she hoped the punishment would serve as a reminder for the accused not to repeat the same mistake.

"This is also a reminder for the public to be more cautious when using social media. Use social media responsibly," she said.

Earlier, state prosecution director Wan Azimah Yaakob pressed for a deterrent sentence.

However, lawyer Amin Othman, who represented the accused, pleaded for a minimum sentence by stating that his client had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder since 2011. He said Saifuddin was still undergoing treatment for his condition since last year.

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