KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Mohd Salleh Keruak as Chairman of the Special Committee To Combat the Abuse of Social Media today reiterated that the government views seriously the abuse of the social media in Malaysia that will endanger the security of the nation and its people.
The Sedition Act 1948, Laws under Malaysian Penal Code and the Communication and Multimedia Act 1998 will be fully utilized to ensure that those who transgress the boundaries of these laws will face the full consequence of their acts. The Ministry will be monitoring and taking action against individuals and groups who abuse the internet to slander, defame, insult and instigate others with the intention to cause hatred and disrespect to the various institutions of government and its leadership.
The Ministry fully respects the rights of Malaysians to a free and fair access to the internet and its applications, but the Ministry nevertheless is duty bound to uphold the Constitution, which provides for the security and safety of all Malaysians. The Ministry prioritizes the continuation of peace and harmony that this country has enjoyed since its independence.
The Ministry is mindful of the myriad of ways in which the internet is and continuous to be abused by a minority of Malaysian. Abuse which is causing wide spread consternation among Malaysians of all walks of life. Extremist and radical views both from the left and right wings within certain segments of society if left unchecked can grow and threaten the lives of the majority of Malaysians who are peace loving.
323 complaints concerning the abuse of the internet made to the MCMC have been dealt with thus far, 67.8% of which have been with regards to pornographic content, slanderous statements including those deemed seditious in nature. Seven cases are under investigation by MCMC for offences under the Communications and Multimedia Act, whereas 149 websites have been blocked for various reasons for breaking laws under the Communications and Multimedia Act.
Those who are prosecuted under these laws will face charges with sentences ranging from a fine of RM50,000 and/or term of incarceration in jail up to one year. To facilitate investigations, the authorities are empowered to confiscate any equipment used by the suspects in violating these laws.
For the whole of 2015, 12 cases were brought to court and prosecuted under sections 211 and 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act with regards to offences with regards to offensive content and abuse of social media where court sentences meted out totaled RM129,000 and prison sentences between 1 and 30 months.
The Malaysian public must continue to be vigilant and cooperate with the authorities namely MCMC and the police to report content, which are detrimental to the country and are in clear violation of the country’s laws.
It is the responsibility of every citizen to ensure the internet in Malaysia remains free from abuse for the benefit of Malaysians of all, that the internet remains a medium for Malaysians to conduct business, develop socially and entertain themselves without having to worry about crime.