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A former religious teacher and a housewife who disseminated fake news via their Facebook account regarding the halal and non-halal frozen meat. (NSTP/MOHAMAD SHAHRIL BADRI SAALI)

KUALA LUMPUR: A former religious teacher and a housewife who disseminated fake news via their Facebook account regarding the halal and non-halal frozen meat, which were purportedly found stored together in a co ntainer, were fined RM2,000 each by the Sessions Court today.

Judge Zaman Mohd Noor handed down the sentence on Roslan Ahmad and Maizura Abu Bakar, both 54, after they pleaded guilty to the offence.

The duo were ordered to serve a month's jail should they fail to pay the fine.

Roslan and Maizura were charged with intentionally initiating the transmission of a false communication via their Facebook accounts with intention to annoy another person at 11.58pm and 3.18pm on July 19, 2017.

The link was read at Starbucks restaurant, AEON Alpha Angle, Bandar Baru Wangsa Maju, at 10am on Aug 1 the same year.

The charge, under Section 233 (1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia (MCMC) Act provides a maximum fine of RM50,000, or imprisonment for up to a year, and liable to a further fine of RM1,000 for every day during which the offence is continued after conviction.

MCMC prosecuting officer Norhani Mohd Adzhar prosecuted while both accused were unrepresented.

Earlier, Roslan who appeared in court on crutches, pleaded for leniency saying that he had become handicapped after an accident two months ago while Maizara, a mother of seven, pleaded for a lenient sentence saying that her children were all still in school.

She said she will be more careful not to post or easily believe in fake news on social media.

Norhani proposed a minimum RM5,000 fine to be imposed on each accused saying that it was a public interest case which involved the sensitivity of Muslims.

According to the facts, on Aug 1 last year, a man read Roslan and Maizara's Facebook posting and investigations revealed that their posts which went viral on social media was fake news.

This was confirmed by the Department of Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services (Maqis).

In July the same year, Maqis seized four containers of halal and non-halal frozen meat which were found stored together in a cargo shipment area at the Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) .

Checks on the four containers revealed that only one container had a consignment of lamb.

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