KUALA LUMPUR, March 5 — Local internet regulators and the police have launched a joint probe on a Kedah blog for allegedly spreading false claims of Muslim apostasy.
Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) strategic communications director Sheikh Raffie Abdul Rahman confirmed with The Malay Mail Online today that investigations have begun but declined to offer further details.
“We are looking into it seriously and we are working together with the police,” he said when contacted today.
When asked if the blog owner would be called in for questioning, Sheikh Raffie declined to specify.
Instead, he said that MCMC will take appropriate action if the blog’s posts are found to have breached the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.
These include shutting down the website or requesting the host, Blogspot, and social networking site Facebook to take relevant action, he added.
Last week, women’s rights activist Yu Ren Chung complained that the Kedah blog had in March 2012 spread false news of apostasy based on a two-year-old photograph featuring him and several Muslim women sitting on wooden benches that appeared to resemble church pews.
On Yu’s website, he claimed the picture was originally taken on February 29, 2012 at an event to discuss the National Family Policy organised by government agency National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN).
The advocacy officer with the Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) stressed that the venue was not in a church but at the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (Istac) here.
Yesterday, Islamist group Ikram demanded an open apology from the Kedah blogger, claiming the blog post had allegedly defamed the Muslim women in the photograph by describing them as apostates.
Condemning the fabricated contents posted by a blogger in Kedah, the Ikram’s women members said that besides the shame, the blog post has also caused distress and hardship to the women that it falsely accused of apostasy.
The group demanded the blogger apologise to the women involved and for him to repent from the “despicable act.”
DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang had also urged the authorities to take immediate action to stop the spread of such lies.