Ministry mulls enacting law to punish news portals for readers’ insensitive comments

Gobind Singh Deo

KUALA LUMPUR, March 11: The Ministry of Communications and Multimedia is considering laws to act against news portal operators who allow their readers to leave comments that touch on racial, religious and royal institution sensitivities.

Its minister, Gobind Singh Deo, said if the portal operators failed to monitor and allowed such comments on their portals, it was feared that these comments could incur the wrath of various parties and cause bigger problems.

“I have received many complaints from members of the public who also lamented that there seemed to be no monitoring by the operators of the readers’ comments posted on their portals.

“I am considering whether there is a need to formulate a law on this aspect. It is still under consideration and has not been brought to the Cabinet (meeting) yet,” Bernama quoted him telling reporters at the Parliament lobby earlier today.

He was asked to comment on the speech by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah at the opening of the First Meeting, Second Session of the 14th Parliament.

In the speech, the King called for stern action to be taken against actions, including irresponsible use of social media, that could threaten peace and harmony in the country.

Gobind also asked that news portal operators be more careful and take full responsibility for what is written on the comment section of their portals to avoid creating problems.

He said the portal operators should also post news of high value and that could help strengthen national unity.

“It is clear from the message in the address by His Majesty that it is understandable in this era that we depend on the social media; but, at the same time, we need to always give priority to national unity and security,” he added. — DayakDaily