Postings on race and religion OK if not offensive, says PAS leader

The use of racial and religious narratives on social media is not wrong so long as it complies with the provisions outlined in the Federal Constitution, says a PAS leader.

(FMT) – PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said the issues discussed on social media, such as the rights of the Malays as well as the status of the Malay language, were key aspects of the constitution.

As for religious narratives, he considered discussions about Islam on online platforms to be “explanations to prevent violations of shariah (law)”.

“For us (PAS), as Islam outlines what is and is not permissible in life, all parties must respect that,” he told FMT.

Tuan Ibrahim was commenting on a study by the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) on postings during the 15th general election, which found racial and religious narratives offending others dominating social media platforms during the elections.

Conducted from Oct 20 to Nov 26 last year, the study found that out of 117,152 postings on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok, 66,933 touched on racial issues while 24,484 involved religious issues.

It identified politicians as the main actors contributing to racial narratives.

Yesterday, deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said racial and religious statements posted by politicians on social media should be monitored.

He said CIJ’s study saw petty issues being raised for political benefit such as a “fatwa” issued by a political leader that allegedly described another political party as “kafir” (infidel).