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Malaysia govt mulls new law, parliamentary committee to curb social media misuse

Malay Mail February 21, 2019

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 21 ― The government is looking into the possibility to introduce new legislation or a parliamentary committee to curb misuse of social media which, if left unaddressed, can cause uncontrolled spread of hatred and extremist ideologies.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said it was high time for such a system be created to ensure the spread of false information would not be too rampant to the extent of causing disharmony and chaos.

“The government is looking into several proposals, not only to have new legislation but also on how we can create an industry where there is a regulation to ensure that before any report can be spread on social media, there will be a system to ascertain whether it is a factual or false report.

“This will take some time. When it’s ready, we will call a press conference to announce our decision whether there will be a new bill to be tabled at the Parliament, just give us a little time,” he said at Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam)-Media programme here today.

Also present were Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail and Media and Communications Adviser in the Prime Minister’s Office Datuk A. Kadir Jasin.

Earlier in his speech, Gobind stressed out on why legislative and other important measures such as strengthening media professionalism, ethical journalism and to push for the establishment of self-regulatory frameworks and mechanisms are pivotal to combat fake news and to handle the misuse of social media.

He said this would not just encourage more mature and responsible journalism but also enhance greater accountability and healthy checks and balances amongst media practitioners and their reports.

According to the minister, several countries namely the United Kingdom, Pakistan and Singapore had taken the same path to regulate or control social media all over the world.

Gobind also expressed hope that the ministry and all relevant parties could work together to achieve a system in which press freedom could be preserved and ensure responsible journalism in search for a balance required for governance, media and human rights here in Malaysia. ― Bernama

From: MALAY MAIL 9Malaysia) February 21, 2019

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