Lawyer cries foul following two-year sentence for pro-opposition blogger


(Malay Mail Online) – Civil liberties lawyer Eric Paulsen questioned a Sabah court’s decision to mete out the maximum sentence to pro-PKR blogger Milosuam for disseminating false news, saying it was too harsh for a first-time offender.

The blogger, whose full name is Yusuf al-Siddique, was found guilty on Monday for posting statements that caused fear during the 2013 Lahad Datu incursion by Sulu militants.

A Kota Kinabalu court magistrate’s court then handed down the maximum sentence allowable under Section 505 of the Penal Code that prohibits causing public mischief.

“Everyone knows Milosuam is a pro-PKR blogger; [Barisan Nasional] bloggers are free to say anything and no action is taken against them.

“If you are a Pakatan Rakyat (supporter) they pounce on you… where is the equal treatment of the law? This is selective prosecution, double standards,” Paulsen said at a news conference here.

The lawyer said the custodial sentence was unfair since the blogger has no prior record.

“This is the first time such a conviction has happened in Malaysia,” Paulsen added, saying that case was now being appealed.

In June 2013, local daily The Star reported Senior Federal Counsel Jamil Aripin as saying that Milosuam was charged in the Kota Kinabalu magistrate’s court because the latter’s blog was widely read in Sabah.

According to The Star, Milosuam allegedly made a posting titled “Pendatang asing bakal cetus huru hara di Sabah?” (Foreigners to cause chaos in Sabah?)”, in which the blogger reportedly claimed that 1,500 foreigners would cause chaos in the East Malaysian state.