KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – An opposition lawmaker known as on Tuesday for Malaysia to outlaw on-line hate speech, accusing authorities of downplaying the gravity of a difficulty highlighted by a Reuters investigation into abuse on Fb (NASDAQ:) of Rohingya refugees and undocumented migrants.
Citing the Reuters report on rising xenophobia on-line in Malaysia within the wake of the coronavirus epidemic, lawmaker Chan Foong Hin requested the Communications and Multimedia Ministry final week to state its plans to fight such hate speech.
In a written parliamentary reply on Thursday, the ministry stated hate speech on social media platforms corresponding to Fb was assessed in keeping with the businesses’ phrases and could be eliminated if it violated neighborhood requirements.
The ministry didn’t refer on to the Reuters’ report in its response. Nevertheless it stated it had instructed state broadcaster RTM and state information company Bernama to supply studies that will assist appropriate “misconceptions”, and curb “exterior parts that attempt to make Malaysia look dangerous.”
Chan stated authorities seemed to be deflecting accountability to Fb or downplaying hate speech as “misconceptions” or “pretend information”.
“The Ministry appears to be in denial and thinks that the hate speech as reported by Reuters is underneath management, and there’s no want for any additional management by legislation,” he stated.
“It’s time we enact legal guidelines that punish makers of hate speech,” Chan stated, including that present legal guidelines weren’t satisfactory to regulate “those that create and unfold hate speech” amongst completely different communities.
Malaysia has broad legal guidelines in opposition to offensive and seditious feedback that cowl some facets of hate speech. However some have known as for a particular legislation on hate speech, citing sensitivities over ethnicity and faith within the multi-ethnic Southeast Asian nation.
Muslim-majority Malaysia has been lengthy been supportive of the Rohingya, a Muslim minority fleeing persecution in largely Buddhist Myanmar, however sentiment turned in April amid accusations that refugees and undocumented migrants have been bringing within the coronavirus.
Rights teams have accused the Malaysian authorities of failing to counter the rising anti-migrant sentiment.
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