Govt mulls legislation to deal with cyber bullying

The idea of adding provisions pertaining to cyber bullying into the Penal Code is to give the police a clear authority to investigate

By RAHIMI YUNUS / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

THE Communications and Multimedia Ministry is in talks with other ministries and the police to potentially include legislation that addresses cyber bullying in the Penal Code to strengthen the regulatory framework relating to issue.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said he is inclined to the idea of adding provisions pertaining to cyber bullying into the Penal Code rather than creating a new law on the matter to give the police a clear authority to investigate such cases.

“We are looking at the possibilities to amend the Penal Code to add provisions of cyber bullying, so there will be no problems arising on who is supposed to investigate. I am in the process of discussing it with the police,” Gobind said at the National Cyber Security Strategy Conference in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Gobind said he had discussed the issue with Women, Family and Community Development Deputy Minister Hannah Yeoh, other ministries and other relevant stakeholders.

The consensus would then determine if cyber bullying needs its own individual law or part of certain amendments to the Penal Code.

Meanwhile, Gobind said the government is expected to launch a new national policy on cyber security by the first quarter next year.

He said the new policy outlines national cyber security strategies between 2019 and 2023 to develop Malaysia with robust resources for advanced cyber security analytics and forensic resources.

The strategies are also aimed at producing high-income talents in the industry, while enhancing the country’s cyber security capabilities in the wake of the expected robust digital economy.

He said Malaysia will enhance the Personal Data Protection Act 2010, taking cues and items from the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation where appropriate.

Additionally, Gobind said the policy is also expected to cover cyber security provisions on cryptocurrency.

He said the government is working on a stronger collaboration with the private sector and higher learning institutions to develop talent in cyber security to meet future demand.

Digital economy contributed 18.3% to the country’s GDP in 2017 and is projected to increase to 20% of GDP by 2020.

Malaysia is among the top three Asean countries that are expected to contribute to 75% of cyber security services market share by 2025.

Regionally, Asean’s cyber security expenditure is forecast to grow at a compounded annual rate of 15% between 2015 and 2025.

Separately, Gobind said the Cabinet has withdrawn the moratorium on the Prevention of Crime Act (Amendment) 2017, Sedition Act 1948 and Security Offences Special Measure Act over the temple riot cases on the grounds of national security, public order and race relation.

In another development, Gobind said the ministry will also investigate and ask for an explanation from BFM 89.9 over allegations of sexual harassment involving the staff at the radio station.

Meanwhile, he said the National Film Development Corp Malaysia is also expected to announce its new chairman this week, following rumours that actor Datuk Hans Isaac will be taking the leadership position.