Even though we have just entered the fourth day of Ramadan today, you may have begun to hear or see Hari Raya Aidilfitri promotions and advertisement on various platforms. Somehow, an online casino company decided to join in as well by coming out with a full-blown video advert for Hari Raya.
Produced by GDBet333 which primarily targets users from Malaysia and Singapore, the 2-minutes advert not only featured local actors and actresses but also has its own Raya song in Bahasa Malaysia. Apart from disregarding the fact that online gambling is technically illegal in Malaysia, the advert is also rather insensitive in nature.
This is because it positions gambling as a method to gain extra money for Hari Raya. As gambling is prohibited in Islam and Aidilfitri is a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims, the advert has certainly gone out of the line.
Not long after the advert made its way online earlier this week, hundreds of netizens have since expressed their dissatisfaction with it. This eventually caught the attention of Malaysian authorities who have now sprung into action.
The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) today stated that it has requested Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to take down the advert. The request is being done on the basis that the video does not meet the terms and conditions as well as the community standards of respective platforms.
It is not known whether any of the three platforms have responded to MCMC’s request, the original video that was posted on YouTube has since been set to private although it has been re-uploaded and shared by netizens. On a related note, Gbet333’s website can still be accessed from Malaysia for the time being despite the actions by MCMC.
Meanwhile, Deputy Inspector General of Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM), Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani has also revealed that a police report has been made in regards to the advert. He further stated that PDRM will be taking statements from the producers, actors, and actresses that were involved in the production of the advert.
With the assistance of MCMC, the case will be investigated under Section 504 of the Penal Code which covers intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of peace. Additionally, the investigation will also include Section 4(1)(g) Common Gaming Houses Act that revolves around promoting a gambling venue.
It is going to be interesting to see how Malaysian authorities will be addressing this matter. Despite being illegal, the current provision in our laws have been seen as outdated and unable to handle online gambling. The insensitive nature of the advert may also lead to even bigger consequences to the people behind it.