Refugee activist Heidy Quah pleads not guilty to internet misuse

Elill Easwaran

Heidy Quah arrives to face charges over a controversial social media post about immigration detainees, at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex, today. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Hasnoor Hussain, July 27, 2021.

REFUGE for the Refugees founder Heidy Quah today pleaded not guilty to the charge of misusing the internet to post offensive, threatening or obscene content, at the cyber crime court, in Kuala Lumpur.

The charge was framed under section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1988.

Quah was brought to court over a Facebook post she wrote on June 5 last year detailing the experiences of a detainee at an immigration detention centre. The post appeared at a time the authorities were rounding up undocumented migrants as a measure to curb Covid-19 infections.

She is charged under the multimedia law which makes it is a crime to post “any comment, request, suggestion or other communication which is obscene, indecent, false, menacing or offensive in character with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass another person”.

The court set bail at RM2,000 bail for the refugee activist who was the 2017 ecipient of the Queen’s Young Leaders Award from Queen Elizabeth.

Judge Edwin Paramjothy Michael Muniandy fixed September 6 for mention of the case.

Quah was represented by lawyer New Sin Yew while Noor Dayana Mohamad served as the deputy public prosecutor.

Noor Dayana had asked the court to set bail at RM7,000 which New had objected to as excessive. 

The lawyer had cited the 27-year-old Quah’s contribution to society, especially to poor communities, through her organisation, adding that she would not be a flight risk.

Quah faces a maximum fine of RM50,000 or jail of not more than a year, or both, if she is convicted. – July 27, 2021.

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