A businessman was charged in the Magistrate's Court here with two counts of posting offensive comments and for insulting the government, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, on Facebook two weeks ago.

Kum Eng Choon, 48, pleaded not guilty to both charges after they were read out to him in Mandarin before Magistrate Mahyudin Mohmad Som.

On the first count, he was charged with intentionally using the Facebook application at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id100006871742581 under the profile name 'Kum Dage' to initiate the transmission of the offensive comments.

The charge, under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 and punishable under Section 233(3) of the same Act, provides a maximum fine of RM50,000, or jail-term of up to two years, or both, upon conviction.

On the second count, he was charged with circulating the offensive statements through the same Facebook account with the intention of causing public alarm.

The charge, under Section 505(b) of the Penal Code, provides an imprisonment for up to two years, or fine, or both, upon conviction.

Kum was alleged to have committed both offences at Campbell Complex in Jalan Dang Wangi, here, at 11.16am last April 5.

Deputy public prosecutor Nur Farah Adilah Noordin, who prosecuted, offered bail at RM5,000 for the first charge, but no bail was offered for the second charge.

The court set bail at RM2,500 for each charge with one surety. Kum, represented by lawyer Guok Ngek Seong, posted the bail.

The court set May 24 for mention. -- Bernama