Najihah Chan, a first year medical student from Kuala Lumpur, has become the first Malaysian student to be fined under the countries controversial new social media laws.

Ms Chan, who studies at the capital’s International Medical University, received her MYR120 ($US35) fine this month. She was prosecuted under the ‘Social Media Negligence Act 2014’ introduced in June by President bin Abdul Razak.

Under the bill, anybody who has an Instagram account and does not post at least one picture of food or a cup of coffee in a calendar month can be fined up to MYR200. Malaysian authorities have been lenient in the first few months of the bill, sending warning emails to users who were approaching 4 weeks without a posting, however have now begun to fine account holders.

Dry chilli bullfrog @ Jalan Alor, picture taken by the author, fulfilling his legal obligations earlier this year.
Dry chilli bullfrog @ Jalan Alor, by the author, fulfilling his legal obligations earlier this year.

A spokesman for the KL police force has condemned Ms Chan’s behaviour and warned others to use the case as a warning, ‘This is trury rudicrous behaviour by Ms Chan, very very sirry indeed. We have here evidence that Ms Chan has ‘checked in’ using Facebook at several cafes and coffee shops in the Damansara Uptown and Sunway Pyramid areas. She also used the hashtags #thirdwave, #morningcoffee and #iheartkimchi in many of these ‘check-ins,’ however failed to upload any images of what she was eating or drinking. It is unfavoma- unfathmob- unfathomable, that she would not upload at least one picture of a dish in the past month.

Ms Chan has stated that she will accept her fine and has vowed to be more vigilant in the future, promising to fill her friends’ newsfeeds with endless streams of Instagram filtered pictures of curry laksa, pho, kuay teow, cendol and lattes.

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