Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Azalina Othman Said has reminded civil servants to be more careful about what they post on their social media.
This comes after a photo of her in what appeared to be a casino in Las Vegas, which she posted privately on her Instagram, went viral and drew brickbats from netizens.
“I went to Las Vegas, and you know, there are many gambling machines in Las Vegas.
“I took a picture excitedly, but then people said I went to a gambling den.
“Would I take my own picture if I were to gamble? That would be stupid,” she said at the Legal Affairs Department’s monthly assembly in Putrajaya today.
Azalina reminded civil servants that they should not think they are free from monitoring even if they set their social media profiles to private, as people can still take screenshots of their postings.
That is what happened to her Las Vegas picture from Instagram, the law minister added.
Though the government will not stop them from airing their views and no directive on this has been issued, she reminded civil servants that due to their positions, the people expect more professionalism from them.
“The law is very strict and you as civil servants, the monitoring is stricter, so you have to be very careful.
“So if you have an opinion, keep it to yourselves. I’m not going to stop you from airing your views, this is ademocratic country.
“You will be charged under the law,” she warned.
She also reminded them not to end up like the Malaysian envoy in Manila, who was suspended from duty with immediate effect and ordered home to face disciplinary action after he allegedly posted defamatory remarks against the late Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem on social media.
Adenan, who was 72, passed away last Wednesday from heart complications.
Azalina also spoke about the Legal Aid Department, saying that they do not want there to be any overlap between what they do and what the National Legal Aid Foundation, which is under the Malaysian Bar Council, is doing.
As such, she proposed a seminar or a conference be held on legal aid, hopefully before May or June, so that the department could coordinate better on this matter.