KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 10 — A new piece of legislation on insults, incitement and slander should be introduced specifically for new social media, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia senator Datuk Razali Idris said today.
The Dewan Negara’s Caucus on People’s Wellbeing chairman said the new law would be much stricter and effective in dealing with any Internet users who display extremist or unpatriotic behaviour on social media that are directed towards the royal institution, the office of the prime minister, as well as the country.
“The caucus strongly condemns the actions of some netizens who displayed extremist behaviour on social media platforms.
“Unpatriotic behaviour towards the royal institution, the institution of the prime minister, and the country, can affect the people’s prosperity,” he said in a statement.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is from Bersatu, where Razali is a supreme council member.
Razali said in addition to this, an amendment can also be made to Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, as Parliament can amend laws per Article 10(2)(a) of the Federal Constitution which deals with controlling freedom of speech when it concerns internal security, moral principles, public tranquility, and international relations.
The senator made reference to Muhyiddin’s recent official trip to Indonesia, which saw numerous derogatory remarks made against him on social media.
Razali said such the attacks were unacceptable, as well as a display of uncouth and impolite behaviour.
“The caucus is worried about this phenomenon of insults, incitement and slandering on social media, which has seemingly become the number one mental illness which requires sterner and more effective legal action.
“Those who misuse social media platforms should be brought to the Attorney General’s Office for prosecution,” he said.
Razali said he is confident the Communications and Multimedia Commission as well as the police will be able to implement sterner actions under the Act, as well as the Sedition Act 1948, the Defamation Act 1957, the Penal Code, and the Computer Crimes Act 1998.