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Journalist charged over TNB parody in blog posting
Fri, Sep 03, 2010
The Star/Asia News Network

By Nurbaiti Hamdan

PETALING JAYA: The Malay Mail's lifestyle and entertainment executive editor Irwan Abdul Rahman, 36, has claimed trial to making a false blog posting relating to Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) and the Earth Hour campaign.

The journalist-cum-cartoonist pleaded not guilty when the charge was read out to him at the Sessions Court here yesterday.

Irwan, known also as Hassan Skodeng, was charged with allegedly posting a false blog entry with the intention of causing hurt to the feelings of others at B-3A-01, 02 & 03, Dataran 3 Dua, No 2, Jalan 19/1, here on March 25.

The tongue-in-cheek article, titled "TNB To Sue WWF Over Earth Hour," claimed that the national corporation would be suing WWF for organising the worldwide campaign which was costing them "millions in unrealised revenue.''

The offence under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communication and Multimedia Act carries a maximum fine of RM50,000 or maximum one-year jail term or both.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Badius Zaman Ahmad applied for the court to impose RM5,000 bail.

However, counsel Jahaberdeen Mohamed Yunoos, who stood for Irwan, pointed out that Irwan was the one who turned himself in.

"He (Irwan) could have easily run away but he did not," he said, describing it as "a bizarre case" as this was the first time a satirical blogger, whose entire blog was based on parody, was accused in court.

Sessions Court judge Hayatul Akmal Abdul Aziz then set bail at RM4,000 in one surety.

Red Berry Media Group's advisor Datuk Ahirudin Attan stood as bailor. The court fixed Nov 24 for mention.

Irwan later told the press that he has maintained the blog for one and a half years.

He said he removed the blog post two days after posting it when he saw an unusual spike in the site's visitor numbers.

 

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