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Tweaking of social media abuse laws will continue, says deputy minister


Efforts to update and improve the laws related to social media abuse will be undertaken from time to time to ensure that the laws will stay relevant and up to date in times of rapid change, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Eddin Syazlee Shith said the government would not compromise with any social media user who threatens national security, stability and racial harmony, especially by insulting the monarchy or certain race and religion.

He said although the government was committed to ensuring the freedom of speech for all Malaysians, the right to freedom of speech was not absolute and subject to the provisions of existing laws.

“Provisions of existing laws, such as the Penal Code, are among the specific legislative instruments to address abuse in the form of provocation and insults against race, religion and the monarchy.

“The Communication and Multimedia Act 1998, on the other hand, is more on addressing the improper use (of social media) based on reports received from the public or the affected parties,” he said in reply to Sabri Azit (PAS-Jerai) during the question time session.

Sabri had wanted to know what actions had been taken against social media users who insulted Islam, Malay rights and the monarchy.

Eddin Syazlee said awareness campaign had also been organised on a regular basis by the agencies under the ministry such as RTM which aimed at educating the public about the consequences of social media abuse.

“Matters involving race and religion are sensitive and must not be touched on at anyone’s whim and fancy, so as to ensure that there will not be any element that could cause racial disharmony in the country,” he added. - Bernama

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