Tolerance can only go so far, Wan Junaidi warns bloggers and social networkers
KUCHING, Feb 2: As far as freedom of expression on the Internet goes, it is best to be highly mindful on what is being posted and spread across blogs and other social media platforms.
Deputy Home Affairs Minister Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar stressed that while such expression could be practised in Malaysia, the people should never cross the line when it came to online postings, which if done without caution could incite hatred and anger that in turn, might disrupt the peace in the country.
“We have laws (like what we have now) and we base our actions on these current laws. Of course we are giving a little leeway (to Internet users on freedom of speech) but do not cross the line.
“I have been saying this all the time — you can go ahead and say what you like within the context the law in the country. We can tolerate almost anything, but then do not cross the line,” he told reporters at the SUPP Chinese New Year Open House here on Friday.
Wan Junaidi was asked on possible actions to be taken against online reports of anti-Christian and anti-East Malaysian sentiments, as well as cessation of Sarawak and Sabah from Malaysia.
Earlier this week, Sabah PAS lodged a police report over a Facebook page Semenanjung Malaysia Anti Sabah and Sarawak, which mocked Christianity and the people of the two states.
Among the postings deemed offensive to Christians was the photo of a frog nailed to a cross, which angered many Sabahans and Sarawakians.
Additionally there were also Facebook pages talking and underlining the demand for Sarawak and Sabah to be separated from Malaysia.
One of them, Sarawak Goes For Referendum carried a posting that reacted to a photo captioned: “Take back our country”.
In his remark, PRS president Tan Sri Dr James Masing said the anti Sarawak and Sabah Facebook pages were uncalled for, stressing that it was not “healthy” to the peace and harmony in the country.
He urged those responsible for the postings to cease immediately and learn to accept criticisms with an open mind because criticisms were meant for the betterment of the Federation of Malaysia.
He believed that it would be better to make the federation better rather than tearing it apart.
“People outside Sarawak and Sabah must view our suggestions and criticisms in that manner. Malaysia, as a federation, is here to stay. Therefore, let us all work to make it better,” the Land Development Minister told The Star yesterday.
Masing’s statement came on the heels of the one which pointed out that religion was a matter of personal belief and conscience, and should not be used as a tool to discriminate others or to be politicised.
He further said the actions of some irresponsible quarters, whether done on purpose or otherwise, would stir up religious tension and thus, provoke many people — making matters much worse.
Masing’s remarks were in response to the recent incident where several Catholic churches in the peninsula had controversial banners put near their entrances.
source: The Star
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