Sunday, January 19

Blogger charged over ‘foreigners to cause chaos in Sabah’ claims


KOTA KINABALU: A blogger from Melacca was charged with publishing online a statement intended to cause fear amongst the public at the Magistrate’s Court here yesterday.

Yusuf Al Siddique Suratman, 29, pleaded not guilty before Magistrate Edward Paul for allegedly posting an image and statement on March 6–7 this year on controversial blog site, Milo Suam.

The blogpost entitled “Maklumat sulit: Pendatang asing bakal cetus huru hara di Sabah?” (Confidential information: Foreigners to cause chaos in Sabah?) claimed that some 1,400 foreigners will cause chaos in Sabah as evidenced by a document purportedly from the police.

Yusuf was charged under Section 505 of the Penal Code which is punishable by a maximum jailed term of two years and a fine on conviction.

Senior Federal Counsel Jamil Aripin and DPP Luke Ressa urged the court to set a higher bail and order Yusuf’s passport to be surrendered to court.

Yusuf’s counsel Erveana Ansari objected to the bail request because there was no reason for the accused to abscond as the latter was charged with a minor offence.

Erveana said there was an application made to the Attorney-General’s Chambers to transfer the case to Kuala Lumpur.

Jamil earlier told court that the accused was charged in Kota Kinabalu because the published blogpost was read in Sabah.

The court released Yusuf on a RM15,000 bail with one local surety and ordered him to surrender his international passport to court.

His trial will be held here on July 22-23 this year with the prosecution expected to call at least eight witnesses to testify.