Raja Kamarul Bahrin has urged the government to consider formulating new legislation to curb hate speech on social media.
As examples, the Amanah leader cited the ongoing unrest in Indonesia and Muslim NGO president Aminuddin Yahaya’s statement regarding Pos Malaysia issuing a stamp with an image of a church.
“It is ironic the Isma president did not consider Islam was being bullied in 2016… Why did this only become controversial during Pakatan Harapan’s administration?
“What are his argument and logic? Is it because it happened during Harapan’s administration that it is considered inappropriate (to issue such stamps)?” he asked in a statement this morning.
Aminuddin (photo) took to Facebook last week to complain that the stamp was another example of how Islam was being bullied and it could lead foreigners to think Malaysia is a Christian state.
Pos Malaysia later clarified the stamp was part of a series on places of worship in Malaysia, which was first issued in 2016, two years before Harapan came to power.
The Isma chief has since deleted his earlier posting and apologised.
Kamarul, who heads Amanah’s international bureau, said the time has come for the government to emulate the rest of the world which is heading in the direction of muzzling hate speech related to race and religion.
As for the riots in Indonesia, which has claimed six lives and left hundreds injured, Kamarul noted how the authorities had to shut down a part of social media due to the spread of sensitive issues.
“Whatever freedom must be used in a responsible and mature manner. There is no absolute freedom to cause chaos in the nation.
“If democracies in the West are facing a huge problem with religious and racial hatred, younger democracies like Malaysia and Indonesia must act against this in an effective manner,” he added.