‘Seditious’ blogs under probe

(NST) KUALA LUMPUR: Police have begun investigating several blogs for posting articles which were allegedly seditious in nature.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said several blogs had already come under scrutiny.

“We have our ways of identifying who were responsible for setting up the blogs and the individuals who posted sensitive comments,” he told the New Straits Times yesterday.

Ismail was responding to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s call to bring to book the culprits who incited religious and racial hatred through the Internet.

“Irresponsible parties should not think that they can post sensitive comments online and still remain anonymous. We have ways to identify them and laws to deal with them. “We will get these irresponsible parties.”

On Monday, Najib called on the police to investigate and take action against those who incited religious hatred as all religions and races in the country had to be protected.

Najib was commenting on seditious postings circulated on the Internet which allegedly insulted Islam and the Malay rulers.

A blog had posted a statement, allegedly by DAP Socialist Youth chief Loke Siew Fook, criticising commentaries of an Islamic scholar, Dr Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, published in a Malay daily over the past two weeks.

The blog ceased operating on Monday but it is understood that several other blogs had also posted the statement, which drew comments from readers.

Yesterday, Information, Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim stressed that existing laws were sufficient to deal with those who misused theInternet to defame or insult other parties.

Rais said those found guilty of publishing seditious postings could be charged under section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 and even under the Penal Code.

“These offenders should be investigated. If the attorney-general feels that they should be brought to court, then they must face the music,” he said after launching the 1Malaysia Concept Seminar here.

“We have been hearing a lot about seditious postings lately but no action has been taken yet.”