News portals should be liable for readers’ comments

By BERNAMA / Pic By ISMAIL CHE RUS

The Communications and Multimedia Ministry is considering taking action against news portal operators who allow their readers to leave comments that touch on racial, religious and royal institution sensitivities.

Its Minister Gobind Singh Deo said if the portal operators fail to monitor and allow such comments on their portals, it is feared that these comments can incur the wrath of various parties and cause bigger problems.

“I have received many complaints from members of the public who also lamented that there seemed to be no monitoring by the operators of the readers’ comments posted on their portals.

“I am considering whether there is a need to formulate a law on this aspect. It is still under consideration and has not been brought to the Cabinet (meeting) yet,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

He was asked to comment on the speech by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah at the opening of the First Meeting, Second Session of the 14th Parliament.

In his speech, the King called for stern action be taken against actions, including irresponsible use of social media, which could threaten peace and harmony in the country.

Gobind also asked that news portal operators be more careful and take full responsibility of what is written on the comment section of their portals to avoid creating any problem.

The portal operators should also post news of high value that could help strengthen national unity, he said.

“It is clear from the message in the address by His Majesty that it is understandable in this era, we depend on social media — but at the same time, we need to always give priority to national unity and security,” he said.

Meanwhile, Gobind said his ministry had prepared some amendments to the law and hopefully, these could be tabled at the current parliamentary session, but he did not elaborate on the matter.

“I hope I will have time to table the amendments at this sitting. I will make a public announcement on these amendments if (they) can be tabled this time,” he added. — Bernama