Technology, Media & Telecoms

Complaints on Social Media Abuses investigated under Other Laws - Eddin

Date: 23 April 2019; Type: Legal News; Source: Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, Apr 23 (Bernama) - Complaints pertaining to the Internet and social media abuses under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (Act 588) lodged during the moratorium period have been investigated under other existing laws.

Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Eddin Syazlee Shith said a total of 31 complaints lodged under the section from October to December last year were referred to other enforcement agency such as the Royal Malaysian Police (RMP).

Section 233 of the act stipulates that improper use of network facilities such as initiating a communication which is obscene, indecent, false, menacing or offensive in character with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass another person is an offence.

“The moratorium on Section 233 was suspended in January and complaints that could not be investigated under the section are being investigated under other existing laws such as the Penal Code,” he said at the Dewan Negara in his reply to a question by Senator T. Mohan who wanted to know the status of the review on the section as well as the investigations into the cases.

In November last year, Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said there was a moratorium on the enforcement of the law following a proposal by the government to amend it as the Penal Code has similar provisions.

He said the move to amend Section 233 which relating to improper use of social media, as well as misuse of network facilities and network service, was to prevent it from being abused and also aimed at abolishing the ‘draconian’ elements.

On the detention of political activist Jufazli Shi Ahmad, he said it was a follow-up to a complaint and it was a common process of investigation.

“Any action will only be taken after serious assessment and observation made on the complaint,” he said.

Previously, media reported Jufazli who was arrested on April 20 in connection with his alleged attacks via social media against Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the police, was remanded for one day on April 21 and the case was investigated under Section 233 of Act 588 and Section 505 of the Penal Code.

In the meantime, Eddin said RTM had been asked to conduct a comprehensive study on the need to extend its 30-minute Tamil news segment to 60 minutes.

If there was a good response and need, there should be no issue in implementing it, he said.

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