The police will be taking over social media abuse investigations from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC). The change was announced by Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Salleh Said Keruak, acknowledge that the decision was made by a special federal oversight committee.
The committee, which is chaired by Salleh, seeks to crack down on those who use the internet for defamation or instil hatred for government institutions. However, he said that the public should not misinterpret the government’s intentions in setting up the committee. According to Salleh, the move to allow the police to investigate social media abuse was done to protect public interest.
In addition to the police, the Attorney-General’s chamber will be appointing a deputy public prosecutor for the purpose of coordinating investigations between the police and the MCMC. Police officers will also be placed within MCMC investigation departments for the same reason.
Salleh had also explained that the proposed amendments to the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 were to better define the MCMC’s powers in blocking websites. According to the Minister, the existing law does not clearly define the MCMC’s jurisdiction in enforcing laws; and the proposed amendments will clarify the situation. The proposal was announced back in October 2015, and is expected to be tabled before parliament in March.