Barisan Nasional lawmakers to lodge police reports against blog for conspiracy allegations

Barisan Nasional Backbenchers’ Club chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Samad.
Barisan Nasional Backbenchers’ Club chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Samad. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Several Barisan Nasional lawmakers will lodge reports against a blog Suara Hati which named them among 20 'usual conspirators' out to topple the Government.

Barisan Nasional Backbenchers' Club chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Samad said several of the MPs, who were named and identified in photographs, have lodged police reports against the blog.

"We want investigations to be carried out into the false news as photographs of the MPs were also included in the posting," he told The Star on Monday.

He said that several affected MPs would be holding a press conference in Parliament on Tuesday.

"A few lawmakers that were named have lodge reports," said the Johor Bahru MP.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed, who is also Pulai MP, denied the allegations, saying it may be a ploy to cause in-fighting among Umno.

"The motive may be to see us to detract and fight amongst ourselves instead of fighting the opposition," he said.

Former Public Account Committee chairman Nur Jazlan acknowledged that the current political climate is contributing to the spread for false news.

"Until the issues surrounding the Prime Minister are resolved quickly, such allegations will make their rounds," he said.

He added he would usually ignore such blog postings, particularly those which are anonymous.

In an immediate response, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak said he has directed the Multimedia and Communications Commission (MCMC) to investigate the blog.

"Such speculations have a specific motive and aimed at destroying the good name of the affected MPS.

"It is very irresponsible," he said when contacted.

Meantime, the MCMC is set to meet social media platform giants to seek their cooperation in stemming the rise of false information and rumours in the country.

Newly minted Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak said although Twitter, Facebook and Google have been cooperating with the authorities but their cooperation needs to step up.

"I have instructed the MCMC to meet social media platform providers - Facebook, Google and Twitter - soon to seek their cooperation to stem the increasing tide of false information and rumours from spreading via their social media applications," he said in his blog on Monday.

Salleh said although it is possible for authorities to restrict access or block such applications, they will not do so as the majority of social media users are using such applications positively and not for negative purposes.

"However, this does not mean that the public can post information unchecked without respect or regard to the law.

"The online environment is not a lawless space and action can be taken against anyone found to have breached the law, including in the online space.

"Bear in mind that publishing or posting sensitive or unverified information might potentially spark an untoward situation likely to jeopardise public safety," reminded Salleh.

He said it is the obligation of the government to protect its people from harm, including threats posted in the social media and internet.

"As such, deeper cooperation from social media providers is vital in the public interest to help authorities to uphold the laws and keep citizens of this country safe from harm."