Danish citizen jailed under new Malaysian anti-fake news law

Danish national Salah Salem Saleh Sulaiman, second from right, escorted by police, arrives at a court house in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday, April 30, 2018. The court on Monday sentenced Salah to a week in jail after he pleaded guilty to maliciously publishing fake news, the first person to be punished under the controversial law. Salah was detained on April 23, two days after he claimed in a YouTube video that he was with a Palestinian man who was gunned down by two assailants on a motorcycle. (AP Photo)

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — A Malaysian court on Monday sentenced a Danish citizen to a week in jail after he pleaded guilty to maliciously publishing false information, the first person to be punished under a controversial anti-fake news law.

The legislation was approved by parliament earlier this month despite criticism that it was aimed at silencing dissent ahead of a May 9 general election. It carries a maximum penalty of six years in jail and a fine of 500,000 ringgit ($128,000).

Salah Salem Saleh Sulaiman was detained April 23, two days after he claimed in a YouTube video that he was with a Hamas scientist who was gunned down in Malaysia by two assailants on a motorcycle. Salah claimed he made countless calls to police who were slow to respond, and that an ambulance came an hour later.

Local media said Salah didn't personally know the victim, Fadi al-Batsh, a Palestinian electrical engineering lecturer in Malaysia who was a member of Gaza's ruling Hamas group.

The court sentenced Salah, who is of Yemeni descent and is in Malaysia on a holiday, to a week in jail from the day of his arrest and fined him 10,000 ringgit ($2,550).

Local media quoted Salah, who was not represented by a lawyer, as telling the court that he had only been in Malaysia for 10 days and didn't know the country had an anti-fake news law. He said his action was a mistake and apologized.

Salah reportedly said he didn't have money to pay the fine and will have to serve another month in jail instead.

Must Read

The Latest: Official: Malaysia fire victims were to move out

Sep 14, 2017

Malaysian Islamic school principal says dormitory razed by fire was a temporary boarding house...

2 Malaysian boys charged with murder for Islamic school fire

Sep 28, 2017

Two Malaysian teenagers were charged with murder after being accused of intentionally setting a...

Faulty Takata air bag kills 6th person in Malaysia

Jan 30, 2018

Japanese carmaker Honda says another person has died in Malaysia after a flawed Takata air bag...

Danish citizen jailed under new Malaysian anti-fake news law

Apr 30, 2018

A Malaysian court has sentenced a Danish citizen to a week in jail after he pleaded guilty to...

Malaysia's reformist icon Anwar freed, given royal pardon

May 16, 2018

Malaysia's reformist icon Anwar Ibrahim has been freed from custody after receiving a royal pardon,...

Weather, 20 December
Houston Weather
+7

High: +11° Low: -2°

Humidity: 83%

Wind: NNE - 7 KPH

Canberra Weather
+27

High: +27° Low: +17°

Humidity: 87%

Wind: W - 20 KPH

Roissy-en-France Weather
+6

High: +6° Low: -5°

Humidity: 87%

Wind: ENE - 7 KPH

Florence Weather
+9

High: +9° Low: +6°

Humidity: 97%

Wind: ENE - 17 KPH

Parga Weather
+7

High: +16° Low: +4°

Humidity: 100%

Wind: SE - 25 KPH

About Us

In Malaysia Corner, we’re here to bring back those days where you can still catch up with everyday news no matter which corner you are at.

Contact us: sales[at]malaysiacorner.com