All Malaysians must uphold the Constitution to respect all religions in Malaysia but there should be no excessive punishments like the 10-year jail sentence for a social media holder for insulting Islam and Prophet Mohamad

All Malaysians must uphold the Constitution and respect all religions in Malaysia but there must be no excessive punishments like the 10-year jail sentence by the Kuching Sessions Court for a social media holder for insulting Islam and Prophet Mohamad.

As advised by the de facto deputy law minister, Hanipa Maidin, the social media holder should appeal against the decision of the Kuching Sessions Court.

The advent of social media has brought Malaysians to a new age, where what they say on the social media is no more private but can be immediately broadcast in an explosive rate to the public.

Malaysians must be conscious of the uses and abuses of social media, where its effects are magnified in an explosive manner.

Malaysians, whether Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Ibans or Orang Asli must develop a sceptical and cynical attitude to the messages they receive on social media, whether Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Whatsapp, to ask the important question with regard to every message, “Is this true”, and to check on the veracity of the message before sharing it with the others.

If Malaysians, whether Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Ibans or Orang Asli develop such a healthy attitude of scepticism and cynicism to check on the veracity of each and every message, they will not fall victim to the vicious and toxic politics of lies, hate, fear, race and religion currently prevailing in the country.

I am talking from experience as a victim of social media. Recently, old social media lies have been resurrected to demonise me as anti-Malay, anti-Islam, a communist, in fact, a relative of Chin Peng; responsible for the May 13, 1969 riots, leading the street demonstrations in Kuala Lumpur shouting anti-Malay and anti-Islam slogans although I was never in Kuala Lumpur after the May 10, 1969 General Election.

Before the 14th General Election, such toxic politics alleged that I will be the Prime Minister of Malaysia if Pakatan Harapan wins the polls. When such lies and falsehoods were proved wrong after May 9, 2018 new lies and falsehoods were manufactured to allege that I am the real power in the Pakatan Harapan government in Putrajaya and that Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Anwar Ibrahim, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Mohamad Sabu were merely my stooges and puppets.

If Malaysians can develop a healthy scepticism of what they receive on the social media and check their veracity before they share it with others, it will be a big step to check the abuses of social media in Malaysia.

MP FOR ISKANDAR PUTERI
Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, 10th March 2019