Register Facebook Accounts With MCMC - Experts

Last update: 10/08/2014

By Hasnah Jusid and Noor Zafira Mohd Shafie

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) -- The government should consider compelling all Facebook users in the country to register their accounts with the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to ease identification of their identity.

Universiti Sains Malaysia Communication Studies Faculty senior lecturer Assoc Prof Mohamad Md Yusoff said the move was more apt compared to shutting down access to the social website Facebook to prevent abuse by users.

"At present, with cases such as insulting Islam, (Yang di-Pertuan) Agong and numerous baseless allegations made on Facebook, it is quite difficult to track down the culprits, especially when they can easily get away with excuses of account being hacked, fake account or outside server," he told Bernama.

Meanwhile, Universiti Malaysia Sabah Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Heritage senior lecturer Saat Awang Damit said the registration of users with MCMC would also create a society of responsible Facebook users in the country.

He said only responsible users were capable of making fair comments and share their views in a sensible and proper manner, without causing misunderstanding or spreading false information.

Saat's view was shared by his colleague, Dr Haryati Abdul Karim, who said that it was not apt for the government to shut down access to Facebook just because some users abused it.

Haryati also proposed that a law similar to the Anti-Hate Speech Law be introduced in the country to prevent people from uttering words that ignite the fire of hate or insult any race, religion, ethnicity and citizenship.

The Anti-Hate Speech Law, adopted in European countries, such as Denmark, France, Netherlands and United Kingdom, is also aimed at preventing people from being irresponsible and abusing social websites to make harsh and false statements in a bid to ignite the fire of hate.

Last Friday, Communication and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek was reported as saying that the government would study whether it was necessary to bar access to Facebook following cases of abuse involving the social website.

He said his ministry was conducting studies to gather public views on the matter.