Thursday, September 2, 2010

You Can't Poke Fun at TNB

Irwan (right) with lawyer at the courthouse after the former was charged this morning. Photo by Shahir Omar.

A Malay Mail editor, Irwan Abdul Rahman, better known as blogger “Hassan Skodeng” was charged in the PJ Sessions Court with publishing false information, in what his lawyer said was the first time someone was being prosecuted for a satirical blog post. It was actually a parody he fictionalized in his blog about TNB expressing their intention to sue WWF for loss of revenue for organizing Earth Hour. I thought it was a well-written and hilarious piece that entertains. I didn’t know that TNB president and CEO Che Khalib Mohd Noh is devoid of any sense of humor and I suppose, he must have taken offense.

And so, TNB which has a monopoly on the supply of electricity to the country filed a complaint to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC). Upon investigation the MCMC then decided to charge Skodeng under Section 233 (1) (a) of the Multimedia and Communications Act 1998 for “creating and spreading lies with the malicious intent to hurt others”, punishable by imprisonment of up to a year and or fine of RM50 000 or less. Now I know this country is surely turning into a veritable circus by the day!

If this case really goes to trial, it will have an impact on the freedom of blogging and also the development of creative writing. Indeed, Malaysia is getting ridiculous! Ho, ho, hahaha! Repeat as many times as necessary until you drive yourself bonkers! Who knows this may be your last laugh – they might just outlaw laughing altogether!

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