Govt to act against racial, religious slurs on social media, says minister


The government is studying the mechanisms that would allow the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to remove malicious social media postings as the country sees a rise of religious and racial slurs.

In the past few weeks, the authority has made a spate of arrests and charged a few individuals for stirring racial and religious sentiments by posting their statements on social media platforms.

Such acts have increased the anxiety of the public and many are calling for sterner actions against the perpetrators.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said a study on the legislative amendments is being conducted to address the misuse of the popular platforms.

“The government is in the process to draft the law which would be more effective for us to handle this problem and threat, in particular issues that involves race, religious and the royalties,” he said in Putrajaya yesterday.

He hopes that the draft law could be ready for tabling during the Parliament’s sitting in July this year.

“We are also looking at how the MCMC can be empowered so that they can delete postings with the said elements,” he said, adding that the government is seriously looking into the matter.

On the new National Cyber Security Policy, Gobind said the government would need more time to finalise the paperworks.

The policy, which is supposed to be unveiled this month, is expected to address new directions and strategies to develop Malaysia with advanced cyber-security analytics and forensic resources.

He said discussions are still being held and the government is waiting for more suggestions.

“I was informed that it could be finalised by July,” Gobind added.

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.

Meanwhile, Gobind said based on Internet User Review 2018 published by MCMC, the number of Internet users in Malaysia rose by 10.5% to 87.4%, or 28.7 million users last year. The figure is considered high as the country’s total population stands at about 32 million.