COMMENT | Time to implement online reforms to eliminate sexual harassment

Jamaliah Jamaluddin, Lim Yi Wei & Maria Chin Abdullah

Modified 27 May 2020, 10:10 am

COMMENT | The concerns over the rise in online cases of sexual harassment and threats against persons, especially women, is a clear indication that we can no longer take the threat of online abuse lightly. The government cannot ignore online sexual harassment and must act quickly against these threats.

While the Communication and Multimedia Act can be used on general threats and abusive and offensive language and conduct, there is no specific guideline pertaining to sexual harassment.

The delayed and/or non-action from the authorities do seem to promote this toxic behaviour and gives these voices a stage and a microphone to amplify such abusive action to an audience. The recent death and rape threats against the three of us on social media is a clear indication of how easily women can be targeted.

Death and rape threats made online must be treated in the same way as if they were made offline. Therefore, the Communications and Multimedia Ministry and the police must take swift and immediate action against the perpetrators of such crimes, including those made against us.

It is also time for the government to bring in reforms to deal with online harassment in general, and in particular, those aimed at women. The heartbreaking news of the recent suicide of a...

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