Police Detained An Old Man For Insulting The Malaysian PM Via Whatsapp

Priyanka Prasad
A 76-year-old man in Malaysia could face up to a year in jail simply for posting an insulting photo of the Malaysian prime minister on Whatsapp.

Malaysian police apparently take insults to their prime minister via any means very seriously.

A 76-year-old man was detained for three days after insulting Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Rzazk over the messaging service Whatsapp.

The elderly man reportedly did not even write anything that was offensive to the prime minister—all he did was share a "crude photo" in his group titled "Bicara Politik Melayu" (Malay political commentary), according to Mashable.

Police arrived at his house Petaling Jaya, Selangor the very next day and took away his phone after someone filed a police complaint.

He was released after three days but could ultimately be prosecuted under a law in Malaysia that forbids content that is "obscene, indecent, false, menacing or offensive in character with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass another person."

If charged, he could face up to a year in prison and a hefty fine of over $12,000.

The Johor police chief commissioner defended the detainment in a statement, claiming, "The photo has insulted and hurt the feelings of Malaysians."

The extremes to which countries without free speech laws operate is astonishing.

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