Khairy says study of internet regulation needed, curbs only as ‘last resort’

Khairy said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak will present the proposal on regulating the internet to the Cabinet for consideration. ― Picture by Choo Choy May
Khairy said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak will present the proposal on regulating the internet to the Cabinet for consideration. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 24 — Putrajaya needs to study the regulation of internet and social media before imposing these measures which are seen as a “last resort”, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has said.

According to news site Astro Awani, Khairy said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak will present the proposal on regulating the internet to the Cabinet for consideration.

"We need to study it first as it is not that easy to regulate social media. From one viewpoint, it needs to be done to curb the spread of false news and such.

"From another viewpoint, there is a guarantee that we will not restrict the internet in our country," Khairy was quoted as telling the media last night.

“We will also find the balance between freedom and regulation of false news that are not factually-based," he added.

Khairy also said the best way to tackle false news is by educating the younger generation to research and make their own judgment on information received.

"This restriction is only as a last resort. If we are unable to educate or inculcate the culture of researching stuff they receive and they believe whatever is spread on social media, then there is a need for intervention by authorities," he said.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced last Friday that the government has plans to follow international standards to regulate the Internet in a bid to curb criminal defamation, stressing that it was not aimed at restricting Internet freedom.

The Najib adminstration has been under intense pressure from critics both within Barisan Nasional (BN) and without, over its running of the country that has seen a near daily slide of the ringgit against a basket of currencies, including the US dollar, and shrinking external reserves.