IGP takes critics to task over Twitter policing

14 Feb 2015 / 13:44 H.

    PETALING JAYA: The police will continue to do what is right and best for the nation, without fear or favour, said Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar (pix) today.
    He said this includes investigating matters pertaining to seditious and intimidating postings on Twitter.
    Khalid said that to accuse the Malaysian police of using Twitter to crackdown on dissent as an extension of the arms of archaic and draconian law "is inappropriate and uncalled for."
    "It is appalling that critics should lambast the way the police keep the public informed of police actions through Twitter. It is not legally wrong.
    "However it is so, when some quarters use the platform to influence or instigate (a) third party's opinions or actions that adversely affect national security and interest," he said in a statement issued today.
    Khalid said that restraint and caution must be exercised by all parties to control the rise of racial and religious sentiments which could tear apart a multi-racial country like Malaysia.
    "Such is also true with seditious and intimidating comments which could disrupt social harmony and create unrest amongst the people," he added.
    Khalid said freedom of speech is the political right to communicate one's opinions and ideas.
    "However, it must come with common limitations which are universally observed by governments all over the world, and these include slander, sedition, hate speech, incitement, public security, public order and public nuisance," he said.
    Lawyers for Liberty executive director Eric Paulsen, in a statement, said the group was extremely concerned with Khalid's self-appointed role as the "Twitter police".
    He said Khalid has been 'trolling on the social media site, issuing warnings "on a whim" regarding what could or could not be published and coming down hard on opposition and dissidents.'
    "Needless to say, it is unbecoming for the IGP to be seemingly taking instructions from pro-Umno cyber troopers and trolls when he should be neutral when dealing with them whose work is obviously politically motivated and done in bad faith," he said.
    He said as the top police officer, Khalid should display more professionalism and care on Twitter and not abuse his powers.
    Paulsen was brought to court last week over a tweet accusing Jakim of promoting extremism.
    Earlier this week, Khalid also announced sedition probes on several individuals, including Pakatan Rakyat leaders, who had slammed the government and judiciary over Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's conviction.


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