Keep calm and stop spreading hate online, urges MCMC
By Digital News Asia May 8, 2013
- If possible, avoid communicating when your emotions are running high, urges MCMC
- Not all information published online should be accepted as truth, industry regulator notes
THE Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) urged the public to stop sending, sharing and posting ‘hate speech’ via social media.
“As responsible citizens, we must be more sensitive and aware while communicating online, its chairman Mohamed Sharil Tarmizi (pic) said in a statement issued by the industry regulator.
“Think about the consequences and the feelings of our brothers and sisters before posting comments or opinions on social media. If possible, avoid communicating when your emotions are running high.
“Please calm down before you post anything,” he added.
Emotions have been on a knife edge in the country since the general election on May 5, which saw the Barisan Nasional coalition returning to power for the 13th consecutive term, but with a reduced majority and amidst allegations of electoral fraud and cheating.
In his victory speech Prime Minister Najib Razak, while calling for reconciliation, attributed Barisan’s worst ever election performance to what he described as a “Chinese tsunami.”
This was immediately seized upon by two Malay-language dailies, including the Utusan Malaysia newspaper controlled by Najib’s party, the United Malays National Organisation (Umno), to portray the Chinese-Malaysian community as lacking gratitude.
Certain Barisan leaders echoed Utusan’s views, and this was further intensified by pro-Umno bloggers to allegedly incite hatred against the Chinese-Malaysian community.
On May 7, the police arrested two bloggers, one pro-Umno and the other pro-Opposition, and said that both bloggers as well as Utusan were being investigated for sedition.
Meanwhile, the MCMC’s Sharil reminded Malaysian citizens that they needed to abide by the country’s laws pertaining to offline or online platforms.
“If there are individuals who are unhappy with certain issues and need explanations, it should be channeled to the proper authorities, in accordance with the rule of law,” he said.
Sharil also urged his fellow Malaysians not to be influenced by emotions and issues which are detrimental to the harmony of the country, and reminded the public that not all information published online should be accepted as the truth.
The sender of any information is capable of disguise or identity fraud, the MCMC said, adding that it was therefore vital for the public to verify the authenticity of information before uploading it.
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