Police to come down hard on Red Bean Army

The Red Bean Army and its ilk will face criminal and civil action for spreading lies about the police through the Internet, says the Home Minister. 

Anisah Shukry, FMT

The police will use the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998; the Penal Code; and Facebook to counter the ‘Red Bean Army’ and others who use the Internet to defame the men in blue, said Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

“There are two ways to take action against cases of defamation. One, criminal action, two, civil action,” the Home Minister told the Dewan Rakyat today during question session.

“In this case, seeing as the libel [about the police] is made through social media, we will take action using the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 and Section 504 of the Penal Code.

“And because we must counter libel spread through social media with social media, we will use Facebook to fight them.”

But he said that the 416,500 Facebook fans and 113,000 Twitter followers for the Police force’s official pages were still not enough.

“But we will stick with this approach to counter defamation against the police,” he said.

Ahmad Zahid said this in response to Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz (Tanah Merah – BN) question on what action the police would take against the Red Bean Army – an alleged group of opposition-funded cyber troopers – and its ilk for reportedly spreading lies about the police on the Internet.

“It is unfortunate that there are some quarters in this country who do not know how to be grateful, who purposefully mock and discredit the police force, particularly through social media such as Facebook and blogs,” Ikmal had said earlier.

“Does the police force intend to set up a special team to investigate the slander hurled against them, and to answer every allegation thrown their way through the social media…including the endless slander from the Red Bean Army cyber troopers?”

His question elicited loud groans from Pakatan Rakyat MPs, who, despite having denied the existence of such an army multiple times, have been subjected to daily taunts over the Red Bean Army since parliament convened two weeks ago.