Although Malaysia is a democratic country and every citizen has the right to freedom of speech and expression, this does not mean that people can spread false news and hate speech that could incite racial tension without any consequences.
Responding to the recent hate comments that had been circulating on the Malaysian social media space, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) interim chairman, Tan Sri Mohamad Salim Fateh Din has urged netizens to stop disseminating hate comments, particularly towards the royal family, races, and religions (3R), or risk fines and/or even jail time.
He also called on all Malaysians to respect the outcomes of the 15th General Election and the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s selection of the 10th Prime Minister.
Meanwhile, he said that the ministry will cooperate with the police to monitor and take legal action towards any spread of message that relates to racism, religion and the king.
“Joint enforcement action by the police will be taken against those who are found involved based on the complaints of the public in accordance with the provisions of the law in order to protect the order and the interests of the community,” Mohamad Salim said, reported New Straits Times.
RM50,000 fine or jail
He warns that any misinformation being shared is an offence under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) 1998.
If one is found guilty, the maximum fine is RM50,000 or imprisonment for a year or both.
He also said that netizens can lodge a report of offensive content to MCMC through https://aduan.skmm.gov.my/ or at https://sebenarnya.my/salur/.
Earlier, Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani issued a similar warning to the public, urging the people not to create tension or any provocation on social media.
He said that the police detected social media content with racial or religious sentiments and insults towards the royal institution following the 15th General Election and amid the ongoing formation of the government.