Criticism towards leaders acceptable, but no to slander, says Fahmi

SHAH ALAM: All are welcome to practise freedom of expression but there is no excuse to slander, says Fahmi Fadzil.

The Communications and Digital Minister said everyone has the right to criticise, even towards leaders, adding that those spreading fake news, however, would be clamped down.

“There is a line (between criticism and slander). There are no issues when constructive criticism is given but if lies are spread, we have to stop them,” he said during a town hall session on Monday (March 6).

Similarly, Fahmi said the government also did not compromise on any aspects that posed dangers towards the nation.

“There are many worrying concerns such as scammers, and even those involving pornography and paedophilia.

“We are aware that this is happening across various platforms and the ministry is looking to engage with said platform providers to discuss the matter.

“At the same time, there have also been reports of a group related to the Islamic State carrying radical ideologies in Malaysia.

“We are monitoring all avenues and are handling them together with other stakeholders,” he said.

He added that all filmmakers should be aware of the guidelines and laws when intending to come up with content.

“Malaysia has laws, and everyone should abide by them. Filmmakers should also always consider racial and religious sensitivities before producing content,” he said.

He was responding to a question on the independent film “Mentega Terbang", which has since taken a slew of criticism following its controversial content.

Investigations were also carried out by the relevant authorities towards those involved in the film, Fahmi said.

“There is a due process to follow which includes calling people in for statements,” he added.

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