Communications and Multimedia Act review will give it more bite

Reposted from the News Straits Times

By FAIRUZ MOHD SHAHAR – 20 January 2016

PUTRAJAYA : Stern action can be taken against those who promote extremism on the Internet and misuse social media to instill hatred towards the government once the amended Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 is approved.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Salleh Said Keruak said the ministry is waiting for the Attorney-General’s Chambers to approve the amended act.

“We have sent the proposed amendments of the act to the Attorney-General. Once we get the approval, we will bring this matter to the cabinet to deliberate before we table it to the Dewan Rakyat in March.

“The new law will highlight more specific actions the ministry can take against offenders who commit cybercrimes. For now, we have limited power to take strict action for several cases.

“Blocking websites and blogs that spread slanderous statements on the government alone is not enough. We also want the person behind it to receive appropriate punishment.” he said after launching Malaysia Social Media Week at Lim Kok Wing University, here, today.

He said the ministry will monitor and block websites and blogs that post defamatory information on the government, including Sarawak Report.

“Even if we block Sarawak Report, they will still use other mediums to instill hatred towards the institutions of government. We have also decided to block those related mediums as it spreads baseless statement,” he said.

The government has recently formed a special committee to tackle the abuse of social media in the country, comprising representatives of the AGC and the police.

Salleh said the committee has agreed that the police will lead in the investigation along with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission.

“In our first meeting, we discussed how to coordinate enforcement action, where the police will lead the ministry’s enforcement unit.

“This committee is a safeguard measure to curb social media from creating unnecessary havoc through the spreading of lies, hatred and religious extremism, among others.” he said.

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