Muhyiddin: No need for lèse majesté, current laws sufficient to protect royal institution

KUALA LUMPUR: There are sufficient laws to protect the sanctity of the royal institution and the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on social media, says Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

He said the federal government has not discussed the need to enact a specific law similar to Thailand's lèse majesté law to protect the institution of the Malay rulers.

“We think that is not suitable to introduce lèse majesté for now but we will study provisions under the Sedition Act further.

“There are proposals to include such provisions under the Penal Code.

“When they are tabled to the Cabinet, we will determine whether they are acceptable for amendment or strengthening,” he said in reply to a supplementary question from Ramli Mohd Nor (BN-Cameron Highlands) during Question Time in Parliament on Monday (April 1).

Ramli had asked whether the government has any plans to enact a law similar to Thailand’s lèse majesté law, and whether any action would be taken against those who insult the royal institution.

According to Muhyiddin, authorities have investigated 97 cases and charged 11 individuals for allegedly insulting the royal institution and the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on social media since 2012.

He added that if there are police reports, the police will investigate cases involving insults to Islam and the royal institution, including taking action under the Sedition Act 1948, Penal Code or the Communications and Multimedia Act 1988.

He also said that in order to preserve national security and harmony, his ministry would not compromise on any threats or actions by any parties who tried to destabilise the peace Malaysians enjoy.

“Stern action will be taken against any individuals who try to create chaos or create provocation in any form, including speech, writing, or the spread of news that could destabilise harmony,” said Muhyiddin.