Blogger held over posting of secret papers, false info
May 3, 2013, New Straits Times
KUALA LUMPUR: A blogger, going by the blog-handle “milosuam”, was arrested by police in Setia Alam on Wednesday night for posting classified documents on his blog and making false claims about early voting by the police.
Federal Commercial Crime Investigation Department director Datuk Syed Ismail Syed Azizan said the 29-year-old from Rengit, Johor, had been remanded for two days to facilitate investigations.
“Two police reports were lodged against the suspect over postings he had made on his blog milosuam.blogspot.com on the Lahad Datu incursion and early vote casting by the police,” Syed Ismail said.
The first report was lodged on March 6 by a policeman at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport over documents, which had been classified “secret”, which had appeared on the blog.
The documents were sent to all the district police chiefs in Sabah over the Lahad Datu incursion by armed Filipino intruders.
The suspect was alleged to have gotten hold of the classified documents and posted it on his blog.
Syed Ismail said for this offence, the blogger was being investigated under Section 8(1)(e) of the Official Secrets Act for wrongful possession of documents and could face up to seven years’ jail if convicted.
The second offence the suspect is being probed for is making claims on his blog last week that policemen had already cast their votes for the 13th General Election.
As mentioned previously by federal police in Bukit Aman, only postal votes had been cast while the date for early polls for security personnel was April 30.
The blogger had also posted images of a ballot paper, allegedly taken from a policeman.
Syed Ismail said the suspect, a social media activist, was also being investigated under Section 505(b) of the Penal Code for circulating a statement which was likely to cause fear or alarm in the public.
“If charged and found guilty, the suspect can be jailed for up to two years or fined, or both,” he said, advising Internet users not to abuse freedom of speech and expression in Malaysia.
“Posting classified information, especially those marked as Sulit or Rahsia, can have grave consequences especially if the reports fall into the wrong hands,” Syed Ismail added.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has begun acting against those who have spread rumours in cyberspace of chaos, on and after polling day.
The rumours came with the advice to the public to stock up on basic necessities and food in anticipation of the chaos that will erupt on or after Sunday.
The commission has called up 15 individuals to have their statements recorded following the spread of false news and slander on the Internet and through text messages.
In a statement, MCMC chairman Datuk Mohamed Sharil Tarmizi warned that it was a crime to spread false information.
“A crime in the real world is also a crime in cyberworld. There is no difference.
“We are working with the police in a number of investigations and these irresponsible people will be prosecuted once there is enough evidence.”
Spreading false information via SMS or social media is an offence under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 where those convicted can be fined a maximum RM50,000 or jailed up to a year, or both.
Sharil also reminded the public not to believe everything they read online and to verify the information before forming an opinion and forwarding the message.
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