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Do's and don'ts when posting comments in Malaysiakini
Published:  Jan 15, 2021 1:33 AM
Updated: Mar 3, 2021 7:08 AM

KINIGUIDE | Malaysiakini's comments policy and guidelines are aimed at ensuring we have a robust, healthy and respectful Kini community among our readers and commenters.

This is so that we can continue to grow as an insightful and well-informed community. While we welcome and encourage comments on our articles, we would like to draw your attention to those which may get rejected and even suspended or banned. Rest assured, we do not practise favouritism, double standards or have any malicious intent when we take action on your comments.

We do not exist in a vacuum and we must always remember that we live in a multiracial, multireligious and multicultural country. Therefore, our comments, criticisms and questions must not be deemed offensive to our friends from different communities.

Any decision to act on your comment is based on our foremost desire to not only to provide a space for free speech but to also promote a platform for diverse opinions and discussions while maintaining respect and civility.

We will be happy to engage with you to explain further whenever such a situation arises. But do understand that we have a guideline to follow and will comply with it strictly to allow Malaysiakini to continue to be the leader in providing news and views that matter.

If you need clarification regarding our comments policy or have questions which need answers, kindly drop an email to our community editor Susan Loone at [email protected]

The following are some commenting FAQs.

Why does my comment get rejected?

Most likely, your comment has violated one or more of these guidelines:

  • Comments deemed to be spam or promotional in nature.
  • Comments using mostly CAPITAL LETTERS; this is akin to shouting in cyberspace etiquette.
  • Comments and discussions that veer off-topic or are not relevant to the topic.
  • Comments which contains external or suspicious links.
  • Profanity, abusive language, racial and religious slurs. This also includes threatening, pornographic, misleading, offensive or libellous comments.
  • Personal attacks or slanderous allegations against any person(s).

Please respect one another when engaging in a discussion with fellow commenters, and do not harass, troll or spam them.

Why have I been suspended or banned from commenting?

If you continue to post comments in the same manner as those which have been previously rejected, you are heading for a temporary suspension or a total ban on commenting on Malaysiakini stories.

You will be suspended or banned until you agree to comply with our policy.

We know you may be upset by our actions but we have to enforce these rules in the best interests of all our readers and commenters.

Could it be a technical problem?

Yes! At times, the issue may be technical or an oversight on our part (we are only human). Please seek further clarification from us to help rectify the problem.

Why is my comment rejected although I have provided proper research and scientific proof to support my argument?

We totally understand your frustration but if your arguments border on targetting a certain community, provoking racial and religious sentiments or are defamatory and slanderous in nature, they will be deleted.

What words are not allowed in the comments section?

We have an extensive list of words which are not permitted in the comments section. Your comment may be automatically rejected if you use such words. They can be categorised as:

  • Sexually explicit
  • Slanderous and defamatory
  • Insulting and denigrating
  • Racial, religious and sexual slurs

Can I use a pseudonym when commenting or do I need to identify myself?

You may use a pseudonym but kindly choose one that does not mislead like, for example, "NajibRazak" or "Jho Low". You must also refrain from using a pseudonym that is clearly meant to denigrate another person, for example, "Assmin".

What are the laws governing freedom of speech?

In recent years, a number of individuals including journalists and activists, have been probed for their reports or comments.

You can fall foul of the law if you are found to have violated Section 233(1) of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) and Section 505(b) of the Penal Code.

Under Section 233(1) of the CMA, an online communication is an offence if deemed to be “indecent, obscene, false, menacing or offensive in character with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any person". This offence carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and a RM50,000 fine.

Under Section 504 of the Penal Code, an individual can be jailed for up to two years if found to have “intentionally insulted any person, intending or knowing it to be likely that such provocation will cause him to break the public peace.”

Meanwhile, Section 505(b) of the Penal Code makes it an offence punishable by up to two years in prison to make, publish, or circulate “any statement, rumour or report with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public, or to any section of the public, whereby any person may be induced to commit an offence against the state or against public tranquillity.”

Additionally, be aware that Section 499 and 500 of the Penal Code concern defamation, while Section 505 deals with “statements conducing to public mischief”.

It is to be noted that the Penal Code provisions have often been used together with the Sedition Act or the CMA to investigate and prosecute those who are alleged to have uttered or written or viralised "offensive comments".

Also, wild allegations against judges and the judiciary can be deemed contempt of court, while comments on the guilt of an accused when he or she is undergoing trial could be considered sub judice.

Suggestions welcome

Malaysiakini reserves the right to delete any comment submitted to this news website without notice if it violates the above terms. Do also note that the terms governing the comments policy are subject to change.

Moving forward, we welcome all your suggestions on how we can together improve the commenting guidelines and policy. Please send your feedback for consideration to [email protected] or [email protected]

Thank you for your support and understanding. Do help us make Malaysiakini’s comment section a platform for Malaysians to discuss issues of great importance and help find solutions to some of the problems confronting our country. It is through open discussion - and at times, agreeing to disagree civilly - that we can together build a better society.

Happy commenting!

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