RM20,000 fine for Facebook comments
Published on: Tuesday, July 14, 2020
By: Cynthia D Baga
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Kota Kinabalu: A 28-year-old businessman who posted offensive comments and pictures on Facebook with the intention to hurt his ex-girlfriend’s feelings, was fined RM20,000 or four months’ jail.

Sessions Court Judge Elsie Primus meted out the sentence to Seevashankar Vickneswaran Tamalsivan after ruling that the prosecution had proven its case beyond reasonable doubt against Seevashankar.

Seevashankar, who is from Perak, was found guilty of committing the offence at 11.53am on Aug 16, 2017 at Bandar Baru Tambun, in Ipoh, Perak.

The offence, under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communication and Multimedia Act 1998 (Act 588) and punishable under Section 233(3) of the same Act, carries a jail term of up to a year or a fine of up to RM50,000, or both, on conviction.  

The court, among others, said it found Seevashankar guilty of uploading the victim’s photos, some of which were not appropriate. He also did not set his Facebook as private or among a circle of friends but made it public. 

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The court also ruled that the victim had requested Seevashankar to delete the photos, but he refused, which showed intention to cause hurt.

During mitigation, counsel Farazwin Haxdy, who represented Seevashankar, asked for a two-year bond of good behaviour to be imposed on him, saying the charge was only about the pictures and no physical violence involved. Furthermore, at that time the victim was his (Seevashankar) girlfriend and had been in the relationship for 11 years and were very close.

According to Farazwin, her client was a first offender from Ipoh where he operates a food and beverage business, and hired four disabled employees, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, he has no income. 

She said since his case in 2017, Seevashankar had made every effort to attend court by flying here from Ipoh.

Seevashankar also apologised to the court and promised not to repeat the offence.

However, Deputy Public Prosecutor Rustam Sanip urged the court to impose a deterrent sentence on the grounds that the victim was humiliated by Seevashankar and because of the incident, the victim had been transferred by her company which affected her livelihood. 

Four prosecution and four defence witnesses were called during the hearing.

The court granted Seevashankar’s application for a stay of execution of the sentence pending appeal to the High Court, but ordered him to execute a bond with same surety with an additional sum of RM10,000. 

Seevashankar needs to continue to report to the nearest police station pending disposal of the appeal. 

He has to file appeal as soon as possible and the case will be re-mentioned on Sept 30 to update on the status of his appeal.



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