A deputy minister has called on the authorities to enforce laws to stop racism in Malaysia.
Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker, who is deputy Youth and Sports Minister, said there were sufficient laws to safeguard the safety and harmony of the nation.
“The authorities and enforcement agencies, however, must enforce these laws,” said Ti, who is also a lawyer.
“The courts must then apply exemplary, or deterrent punishments to reflect the severity or seriousness of the offence.”
Section 298A of the Penal Code warrants prosecution for causing disharmony, disunity, or feelings of enmity, hatred, ill will, or prejudice. Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act, 1998 states that those who post online comments, requests, suggestions or other communication, which is obscene, indecent, false, menacing or offensive in character, with the intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass another person, is committing and offence.
He added public contempt and disgust for such racial abuse is a good start.
“There’s so much more to be done, but vigilance against racism and those hiding behind race or religion, must be stripped, exposed and shamed by all Malaysians,” he added.
The MCA vice-president was responding to Twentytwo13 editor Haresh Deol’s article ‘As racism rears ugly head again, it’s time to unite Malaysians through sports’, published this morning.
Haresh wrote: “So where do we go from here? Do we just conveniently forget that this individual had posted a derogatory and abhorrent comment on his social media, that he denigrated a fellow Malaysian whose apparent ‘crime’ was to put on the national colours and fight for her country of birth?”
National shuttler S. Kisona was subjected to a racial attack following her performance in the Sudirman Cup, last week. The women’s singles shuttler, from Seremban, is one of the nation’s brightest prospects in the sport.
The racist remark was posted on Facebook by an individual who was later identified as a politician from Kelantan. He has since apologised for posting the comment, and had quit his position.
The posting, although deleted following intense public backlash, caught the attention of many, including Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu, the Badminton Association of Malaysia, and the Olympic Council of Malaysia.