Youth charged with insulting PM on Twitter, arrested after no-show in court

KUALA LUMPUR, July 28 ― A 26-year old unemployed youth was charged under the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) 1998 for insulting the Prime Minister on Twitter and subsequently arrested last night after failing to show up in court.

According to a charge sheet sighted by Malay Mail Online, Mohamad Ariff Fadila Arbain was charged under Section 233(1)(a) of CMA for improper use of network facilities and can be punished under Section 233(3) of the same Act for the offence.

He had allegedly posted an offensive tweet against Datuk Seri Najib Razak back on December 1 last year.

According to his lawyer Faridah Mohammad, police arrested Mohamad Ariff last night in Sri Petaling after he failed to show up at the Alor Setar Sessions Court the third time to be formally charged.

It is understood that the unemployed 26-year old received the charge sheet more than a month ago.

“He was already fixed for mention two times in Alor Setar Sessions Court. But he failed to attend, so a warrant for arrest has been issued. He was arrested at Sri Petaling and then today he was brought to the Alor Setar court before the judge,” Faridah told Malay Mail Online.

“He could not attend the court (first time) because he was working in Pahang while the court is in Kedah. For the second time, he was not at home,” she added.

Faridah said her client was arrested after the police called him to meet at a restaurant last night.

She also said that Mohamad Ariff had his statement taken by the police before although she was unsure the exact date and time.

If convicted, the 26-year-old can be fined no more than RM50,000 or jailed up to one year or both.

Since his arrest last night, his friend Cicy has been taking over his Twitter account @SangAlgojoe and urged the public to donate RM1 to release Mohamad Ariff and using the hashtag #PrayForJoe.

The hashtag is currently the fourth most popular topic trending on Twitter today. – MMO.