KOTA KINABALU: Immediate action can be taken against cyber offenders who touch on religious and racial sentiments, and upload posts that tarnish the image of Malaysia’s royalty, says Tan Sri Annuar Musa (pic).

The Communications and Multimedia Minister said when matters like these are posted on social media, immediate action can be taken without having to wait for reports to be lodged, unlike other cyber offences.

He said the actions taken include having the Malaysia Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) take down sensitive posts.

He said the authorities would not compromise on the three aspects mentioned above and those that cause hatred.

“In fact, the MCMC has intercepted and prevented some one billion calls from entering our telecommunication system using the existing guidelines,” Annuar said.

He said while the authorities respect an individual’s right to freedom of speech, there are certain matters that cannot be taken lightly.

Annuar said other cybersecurity issues will be probed or looked into when a report is made, and it would need the MCMC to work with agencies involved such as the police to pursue the matter.

He said this when asked about recent incidents where some social media users have been insulting Sabah’s Kaamatan Festival, calling it “haram” (illegal) and an alcohol fest, among other derogatory terms.

He said the MCMC as a regulatory and enforcement body, continues to analyse and find ways to better tackle cyber threats, especially cross-border data privacy breaches.

“This is a complex issue and involves a lot of authorities, inside and outside the country,” he said.

“The MCMC must also continue educating the public on the ethical use of social media and Internet platforms, so that these avenues are not misused through scams or fear mongering.”