Gobind says looking to amend law to fight cyberbullying after Sarawakian teen’s death

Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo is pictured during a visit to Pos Malaysia’s Integrated Parcel Centre in Shah Alam May 15, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo is pictured during a visit to Pos Malaysia’s Integrated Parcel Centre in Shah Alam May 15, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

SHAH ALAM, May 16 ― The Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) 1998 may be amended to better tackle cyberbullying and online suicide attemps in the wake of a 16-year-old Sarawakian who took her own life this week.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said he has asked the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission to work with the police and get the facts on the case as it is a serious matter.

“I feel we have to be very, very careful when it comes to matters like this. I think it’s a serious matter where social media is being used in a manner which can endanger the lives of certain people,” he told reporters after meeting Pos Malaysia staff at the National Mail Centre here for a Ramadan supper late last night.

“Having said that, I think at the same time, we also want to look at how the CMA Act could perhaps be tweaked to deal with problems like this,” he added.

A girl from from Batu Kawah, Sarawak jumped to her death from an apartment Tuesday after asking her Instagram followers earlier the same day if she should choose life or death; 69 per cent of those polled voted the latter.

The teen was said to have been emotionally distraught after her stepfather with whom she had a close relationship married another woman.

Police said they have detected no criminal elements in the case yet and have classified it as sudden death.

* In Malaysia, suicide helpline Befrienders offers free and confidential support 24 hours a day via 03-79568145.