Gobind: Ministry mulls new law against news portals over readers' comments

KUALA LUMPUR: The Communications and Multimedia Ministry is mulling a new law against news portals that purportedly allow insensitive comments to be left on their online platforms by readers.

Minister Gobind Singh Deo said his ministry had received numerous public complaints regarding inflammatory remarks on social media and news portals which touched on the sensitivities of race, religion, and the royal institution.

“If we let it be, it could become a bigger problem. Therefore, I urge all news portals to be more careful.

“As far as I know, we are in the process of deliberating whether a law should be introduced.

“However, it still under consideration, and it hasn’t been brought up to Cabinet,” he said to reporters when met at the Parliament lobby on Monday (March 11).

At the same time, Gobind heeded Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah’s calls for unity to be upheld in this country.

“I support the King’s speech that stern action should be taken against such complaints,” he added.

As Malaysians, Gobind said that the public must be responsible when posting comments on social media.

“We must understand that in this era, all of us rely on social media. And at the same time, we must ensure that we prioritise national security."

Meanwhile, Gobind also said that the ministry had prepared amendments to certain legislation, which will be tabled in the current parliament meeting if time permits.

“So, I hope that I have enough time in this session to table those amendments," he said. 

The first meeting of the second session of the 14th Parliament will be held from March 11 until April 11.

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