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Blogger on trial for allegedly insulting Muslims


KUALA LUMPUR:  A witness in the trial of a blogger and his ex-girlfriend said the duo had insulted Muslims by posting on their Facebook, a photograph and caption that ridiculed Islam.

Ikatan Relawan India Muslim Malaysia (IRIMM) executive secretary Datuk Syed Al-Kadir Hassan, 49, said Alvin Tan Jye Yee and Lee May Ling’s actions had shocked and incurred the wrath of many parties, particularly Muslims.

According to him, he and his friends were at a food outlet on July 13, 2013, when he saw the allegedly offensive posting in the duo’s facebook account and questioned the rationale behind the action.

He said, generally, everyone was aware that the ‘food’ in the facebook posting, “Selamat Berbuka Puasa (with Bak Kut Teh…fragrant, delicious and appetising)”, referred to pork bone soup.

“The pair should not have made such a caption in the month of Ramadan or even other months,” said the third prosecution witness on the first day of Tan and Lee’s trial.

The Industrial Training Institute lecturer also questioned why the pair had chosen to post the photograph even if they had merely meant or intended to promote the food.

He said the Muslim community frowned on the duo’s action which was no laughing matter that could ignite racial feud.

When deputy public prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin suggested that the caption be replaced with, “Jemput makan dengan Bak Kut Teh”, or simply deleted, the witness said there would still be anger.

“All the communities know very well that the food is not meant for Muslims,” he said.

Only Lee was present in court. She earlier claimed trial to an alternative joint charge with Tan of posting seditious material in their facebook account, ‘Alvin and Vivian-Alvivi’ which also allegedly contained the Halal logo.

They are accused of committing the offence at 9 am on July 12, 2013, under sub-section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act.

The duo are also facing another charge of posting a pornographic photograph in their facebook between 9 pm on July 6, 2013 and 2 am on July 7, 2013, under sub-section 5(1) of the Film Censorship Act 2002.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Islamic Religious Development Department (Jakim) assistant director Hisral Zirhan Md Zahari, 36, said the department started monitoring the facebook account, ‘Alvivi’ after a photograph of a nude woman posing beside a Barisan Nasional (BN) flag appeared in it.

He also said he understood the meaning of ‘Bak Kut Teh’, “which is generally a type of Chinese food containing pork, and non halal to Muslims”.

“To my knowledge the ingredients in the dish comprise pork,” he said. The trial before Judge Abdul Rashid Daud continues tomorrow.


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