KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 2 — A former top police officer said Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar was right to order action against those who have been wantonly trotting out online abuses, labelling their behaviour “insolent” and “immature”.
In a report on Malay news portal Sinar Harian Online today, Tan Sri Zaman Khan also chided politicians for allegedly stoking unrest among the public through social media.
“Social website users should know the ethics that they have to keep, not to stoke the anger of any parties,” said the former Criminal Investigation Department (CID) chief.
“I see there are some leaders who try to arouse feelings of disaffection and touch on the sensitivities of Malaysians,” said Zaman.
“Remember, your writings in social websites or in the media can spark chaos if they are not checked.”
He also said community leaders should keep their manners on social media.
“Don’t be insolent. Malaysia is a country with an incomparable level of tolerance. We respect all races, religions and cultures,” he added.
“Understand what is enshrined in the Constitution, don’t touch things that could put a strain on the stability of this country.”
Yesterday, Khalid warned that dissenters who insult the government or attempt to rile up the public into action on the Internet will be hauled up to face the law.
The country’s top-ranking policeman sounded his warning on Twitter amid a recent flurry of arrests and charges against Pakatan Rakyat politicians and a law professor.
“There is no more apology to anybody who misuse the media to insult and incite. Wait for the action of @PDRMsia,” Khalid tweeted in Malay, tagging on the microblogging account of the Royal Malaysian Police.
On his Twitter account @KBAB51, Khalid told Twitter user @zana_tingtong that while the police could tolerate “sindiran manja” (endearing banter)”, the force will not brook mockery that has seditious tendencies.
The IGP’s remark follows on the heel of Twitter user Viktor Wong’s online apology this afternoon to both Khalid and the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) for likening the Malaysian security official to Nazi military commander Henrich Himmler.
Wong, who may now be under investigation for his remarks, had earlier taken to the microblogging site to retract his post.
“Hello both @PDRMsia @KBAB51, I am retracting the suggestion on the bastardization and apologize to you and all your members of the force,” Wong said on his Twitter account @wonghoicheng.
Wong, a director for the northern Malaysia-based think tank Inter-Research and Studies (IRAS), had tweeted on Sunday, calling Khalid the “Heinrich Himmler” of Malaysia.
“Bastardization of @PDRMsia. Thanks to the [email protected] Henrich Himmler of Malaysia,” tweeted Wong.
Himmler was a military commander said to be one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany, and among those directly responsible for the Holocaust.
Khalid also took to Twitter on Sunday to instruct the Police Cyber Investigation Response Centre (PCIRC) to identify three Twitter users and take action against them for allegedly “being disrespectful” to him and the police force.