Stronger measures against content that insults religions

SWIFTER and sterner action will be awaiting those who insult Islam and other religions in the country on social media, says Tan Sri Annuar Musa.

“I have asked the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to review the standard operating procedure on actions that can be taken under existing laws to allow for more proactive measures.

“I was given to understand that the MCMC is referring the matter to the Attorney General’s Chambers for a clearer definition of existing laws, where it is felt that sterner and swifter action can be taken against those insulting Islam and other religions,” the Communications and Multimedia Minister told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

He was replying to a question raised by Wan Hassan Mohd Ramli (PN-Dungun), who wanted to know what was being done by the MCMC to counter those insulting Islam on social media.

Annuar said the MCMC is also strengthening cooperation with the police against social media content that could disrupt public order in the country.

The cooperation between the MCMC and the Police Cyber Investigation Response Centre (PCIRC), he said, would identify social media content that involves crime and that could threaten public order.

“This includes insulting content related to religion, race and royal institutions,” he said.

As of October, the MCMC has opened 10 investigation papers involving insulting content on social media, with one case brought to court, said Annuar.

He acknowledged that some cases took time to investigate as the due process under the law had to be followed, including under the Sedition Act.

He added that there were other complexities involved as the social media platforms are based abroad.

Asked by Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (PH-Kuala Selangor) if the government will consider enacting new laws to replace the Sedition Act to deal with such issues, Annuar said there was no need.

“The question is not enacting laws but rather advocacy and specific measures to encourage the rakyat to adopt attitudes and principles that are suited for our multicultural and multireligious society,” he added.

Annuar said Malaysians, in general, have learnt to respect each other’s customs and beliefs.

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