Online threats condemned


  • Nation
  • Friday, 29 May 2020

PETALING JAYA: A man has been arrested on suspicion of sexually harassing DAP assemblyman Jamaliah Jamaluddin and Lim Yi Wei online.

He was also believed to have made similar remarks against MCA Youth chief Nicole Wong.

Petaling Jaya OCPD Asst Comm Nik Ezanee Mohd Faisal said the 40-year-old man was arrested yesterday at around 12.50pm.

The case is being investigated for criminal intimidation, insulting the modesty of a person, exhibition of obscene material and improper use of network facilities.

ACP Nik Ezanee said the suspect was believed to have mental problems and had been undergoing psychiatric treatment since 2016.

Jamaliah, who is Bandar Utama representative, lodged a police report on May 22 after getting threatening messages of rape and murder on social media.

Wong lodged hers on April 21 after receiving similar messages.

Lim, who is Kampung Tunku assemblyman, also received the same threatening message but had not lodged a report.

Leaders from both sides of the political divide have condemned the harassment.

Wong in a statement said any form of harassment over the Internet warrants the highest level of condemnation.

“The authorities must enforce the full swing of the law against perpetrators who are involved in similar cases. The maximum penalty must be imposed against them to serve as a strong deterrent to other would-be online thuggery, ” said Wong.

Although victims may not face physical injuries, Wong said the psychological trauma was equally severe.

“What’s more, when such cyberbullying involves family members, relatives and friends, the psychological burden on the victim grows more dangerous and stressful.”

Besides intimidation and harassment, Wong said the Internet had often become a platform for criminals to defraud and even commit crimes against children.

The authorities, she said, need to strengthen law enforcement and supervision to ensure public safety.

MCA publicity bureau head Chan Quin Er said there was an urgent need for all MPs to call for amendments to laws such as the Penal Code and Sexual Harassment Bill to specifically address measures and penalties against stalking and sexual harassment.

Chan said that it was every person’s right to be protected against sexual harassment, violence, intimidation or stalking be it physically or over cyber sphere.

“People with different political inclinations can agree to disagree, but do so over political discourse and be statesmen-like about it.

“Stooping low by threatening physical and sexual violence are crimes devoid of humanity and must be met by the full brunt of the law, ” Chan said in a statement.

Other political leaders who have spoken out against such harassment included DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto, Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said and Umno Youth chief Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki.

Azalina sent out a tweet on Wednesday, saying that “enough is enough”.

She described these offenders as “cowards” who were afraid to own up to their actions.

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