KUALA LUMPUR, April 25 – The Sessions Court today granted a discharge not equivalent to an acquittal (DNAA) to the founder of a non-governmental organization, Refuge for the Refugees, for misuse of network facilities by initiating the transmission of offensive communications about refugees in the country via Facebook.
The decision was made by Judge M. M. Edwin Paramjothy after upholding a preliminary objection filed by Heidy Quah Gaik Li, 28, that the charges against her were flawed and failed to meet the requirements of Section 233 of the Act on Communications and Multimedia (CMA) 1998. and articles 152 to 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CPP).
Quah’s lawyer, New Sin Yew, who confirmed the case, said, in a nutshell, that the judge found that the charge did not comply with Sections 152 to 154 of the CPC because the charge n failed to adhere to the strict language of S233 CMA and that the prosecution lacks the necessary legal ingredients.
“The defendant is left in the dark as to the charge against her. Her rights under Article 5 of the Federal Constitution were violated by the failure to comply with the provisions of the CPC.
“Thus, allowing the trial to continue would be an abuse of process and would diminish or render the defendant’s constitutional right to be ineffective or illusory,” he said.
On July 27, Women of the Future award recipient Quah pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The woman has been charged with knowingly making and initiating the transmission of offensive communications claiming that refugees at the Immigration Detention Center were abused with intent to annoy others via Facebook using the profile name “Heidy Quah” at 5:30 a.m. June 5, 2020.
The charge was brought under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 which provides for a maximum fine of RM50,000 or imprisonment for up to one or two years and an additional fine of RM1,000 per day. the offense continues after conviction, if found guilty.
She was released on bail of RM2,000 with surety. — Bernama