A Malaysian has been sentenced to a year in jail and RM50,000, or USD 15,500; or about 18 months of salary for the average Malaysian (which is a lot of money here). This draconian punishment was for forwarding words - mere words on a website. The convicted didn't even write the 'offensive comments' himself. No Malaysian will probably have the temerity to protest this type of oppression and denial of basic liberties, except maybe me. After all, this guy had the infernal gall to forward offensive comments about some royal dude (AKA 'sultan') in one of the states. A sultan is someone in Malaysian who is basically paid by the government (with taxpayer money) to sit around for his entire natural life in obscene levels of luxury to do very, very little. And yes, all Sultans must be Muslim by custom, incidentally enough. From "Engineer sentenced to jail, fined RM50,000 for insulting Perak ruler, by M.Sivanantha Sharma, The Star, 1 June 2012:
BUTTERWORTH: An engineer has been given the maximum sentence of a year's jail and RM50,000 fine for forwarding offensive comments against the Sultan of Perak on the Internet three years ago.
Chan Hon Keong, 29, was calm when Sessions Court judge Ikmal Hishan Mohd Tajuddin found him guilty of the offence Friday, but was visibly shocked when the judge read out the punishment.
In his judgment, Ikmal Hishan said Chan had committed a very serious offence.
Chan was found guilty of committing the offence at his house in Permatang Pauh at about 12.05am on Feb 13, 2009.
He was charged with creating and forwarding the offensive comments with the intention of upsetting others at http://books.dreambook.com/duli/duli.html, which has a link to the Sultan's official portal http://sultan.perak.gov.my.
The offence of improper use of network facilities or network service to create and transmit offensive comments under 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 is punishable under Section 233(3) with a fine of up to RM50,000 or a jail term of up to a year, or both.
For you Americans out there reading this, do you think this can't happen in your country? It already has.