Task force to look out for sensitive matter on Internet

By Ng Cheng Yee, TheStar

KUALA LUMPUR: A special unit has been set up to look out for Internet postings that can ignite racial tension and cause disunity, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

The ministry would gather the expertise of its enforcement unit, the police, A-G’s Chamber and the judiciary to look into such cases.

Hishammuddin was asked to comment on a Facebook page that insulted Malay sensitivities.

Several groups, such as the Selangor Federation of Peninsular Malay Students, Gagasan Pendidikan Melayu Malaysia and Perkasa lodged a police report against the page at the Dang Wangi police station here on Wednesday.

On another matter, Hisham­muddin said his ministry had never taken sides when handling incidents which involved churches and mosques.

“For some cases, it takes a longer time to investigate and to be solved.

“But for the incident where paint was splashed on a surau, we were able to arrest the perpetrators within one day and got them charged,” he told reporters after visiting the Narcotics Rehabilitation Centre (Puspen) here yesterday.

He said the ministry handled all cases equally regardless of the race and religion of those involved.

Hishammuddin added that there were certain parties that wanted to raise these sensitive issues to create hatred and disunity among the people.

Hishammuddin was commenting on an article by Pantai Dalam MP Nurul Izzah Anwar on an online portal discussing the issue of Malay rights.

He also questioned the timing of the posting, and wondered whether it was related to the upcoming Parti Keadilan Rakyat elections.

“If it (the article) threatens national security and causes anger among the people, it is meaningless no matter what position we hold in the party,” he said.

He added the police would investigate the article if there was a police report lodged against it.

On another matter, Hisham­muddin said a recommendation would be made to the Cabinet to expand the 1Malaysia Cure and Care Clinic nationwide.

Individuals with a drug addiction problem could get consultation and treatment at these clinics.

The first 1Malaysia Cure and Care Clinic, which can accommodate 400 patients, started operations on July 1 in Sungai Besi and is providing service to 219 drug addicts.

Meanwhile, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the public could trust the mainstream media as its reporting was based on facts unlike the alternative media.

The Prime Minister said some of the articles published in the alternative media such as online portals and blogs were “half truths and inaccurate”.

“The mainstream media has one strength which cannot be found in the alternative media – they are fact-based.

“If we read the mainstream media, intuitively we regard it as an authoritative report whose facts cannot be questioned,” he said at a breaking-of-fast ceremony at the New Straits Times Press office here.

“Its principles are based on facts, as compared to blogs which are personal, usually a one-man show and opinion-based.

“There must be a discerning public who can see the strength of the mainstream media.”