Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Control of social media should go beyond election — Abdul Karim

SIBU: While applauding the move to control the use of social media this 13th general election, Assistant Minister of Youth Development Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah feels the restriction should be extended to everyday use of the Internet.

For this, the Asajaya assemblyman said the laws in Malaysia on this matter needed to be strengthened.

“I am sure we should not allow defamatory and seditious words to be used against another. And we should not allow a person to incite ill-will towards a race and another person,” he said yesterday.

He also feels that concerted efforts are needed to educate the public on proper ethics and manners in using social media.

He was asked to respond to Bernama’s report on Sunday that the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) was looking into suitable methods to monitor and control the use of social media during the impending election.

Deputy Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Maglin Dennis D’Cruz reportedly said the move was to ensure the social media would not be abused by irresponsible quarters to achieve their political agenda.

Maglin was further quoted to have said that MCMC would monitor all users of social media, regardless of their political beliefs, to ensure peace and smooth running of the election.

Abdul Karim added if one’s view transgressed the norm allowed, then that person needed to be penalised.

Asked on ‘norm allowed’, he said this was very subjective, and it was for the one overseeing the media to come up with it. He opined that there was not much attempt to enforce the laws on those transgressing on another person’s rights through social media and this had led to bloggers having a ‘field day’.

“We hope the government and opposition would be responsible in educating the public on the proper ethics and manners in the use of social media. Only by this, could we produce a better society and inculcate respect and tolerance,” he said.

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