A COURT in Malaysia sentenced a man to one day in jail and a RM4,000 (US$933) fine for posting ‘insulting’ words against Prime Minister Najib Razak on Facebook.
Sessions Court Judge Zaman Mohd Noor handed the sentence to 41-year-old Mohd Nasaruddin Saron after he confessed to using offensive words and making accusations against the Malaysian leader on his Facebook account, The Star reported.
Nasaruddin, an online forex trader, pleaded guilty to committing the offence under the Communications and Multimedia Act on Oct 26 last year.
The prosecution said a jail sentence and fine would serve as a deterrent to Nasaruddin and others.
Nasaruddin had asked for leniency, saying he was a first-time offender, but Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission head of prosecution Mohd Sophian Zakaria insisted the man should not have posted offensive words to insult the prime minister.
In recent years, Najib has been widely criticised by the social media-savvy opposition and its largely urban-dwelling supporters over a multi-billion dollar scandal involving a sovereign state fund.
This is Malaysia under PM Najib. pic.twitter.com/BHg3dNCFCX
— Morgan (@GEanalyst) June 15, 2017
Last Thursday, the US Department of Justice took legal action to recover about US$540 million in assets allegedly stolen by financiers associated with 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), the state-owned firm established by Najib in 2009.
The asset seizure suit included a Picasso painting that was given to actor Leonardo DiCaprio and the rights to two Hollywood films.
According to the department, Najib’s stepson Riza Aziz and businessman Low Taek Jho, through the former’s firm Red Granite Pictures allegedly financed the production of The Wolf of Wall Street in 2012 with US$61 million embezzled from 1MDB. The film was co-produced by DiCaprio’s Appian Way Productions and Martin Scorsese’s Sikelia Productions.
The DOJ also said there was evidence that almost US$30 million of the money was spent on a necklace for the wife of ‘Malaysian Official 1’ – who is widely accepted to be Prime Minister Najib.
According to Reuters, the lawsuits show the jewellery for Rosmah Mansor was bought with funds that passed through Najib’s account.
The diamond necklace was bought in 2013, just months after US$680 million was transferred to the private bank account of Najib in Kuala Lumpur, the filings show.
The prime minister has denied these links and claims the money was a generous gift from the Saudi Royal family.