Friday, August 23

Malay rulers’ caution over spreading of defamatory news

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Syed Danial Syed Ahmad

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malay Rulers yesterday advised the people to immediately stop the spreading of defamatory and unconfirmed news for fear that it will undermine the nation’s harmony and well-being.

They view with grave concern the widespread hurling of slanderous remarks among the people of late, said a statement of the Conference of Rulers issued by the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal, Tan Sri Syed Danial Syed Ahmad.

“The act of exchanging defamatory statements and the public display of hatred seem to have become a culture in society right now.

“It is most feared that this defamation that triggers disputes will worsen, unless it is contained and controlled, and cause anxiety among the people,” the statement said.

It said that the pre-council meeting of the Malay Rulers yesterday on the eve of the meeting of the Conference of Rulers had in-depth discussions on, among others, issues relating to the unity, harmony and well-being of the people of various races in the country.

The Malay Rulers have a role in preserving the well-being and harmony of the people of the various races and descent in the country and feel they have a responsibility to rectify the situation, the statement said.

“Hence, the Malay Rulers firmly advise all the people in the country to immediately stop the indiscriminate hurling of defamatory remarks so that they cease to haunt the lives of the people of this country.

“The Malay Rulers urge all the people in the country to adopt a healthy culture based on a life of harmony and tolerance and without prejudice against one another to achieve the aspiration of mutual co-existence for the nation’s prosperity,” it said.

The Malay Rulers urge the people of the country to collectively develop a society that is strong, harmonious, dignified and credible and one which respects strong values on solidary and universal humanity, the statement said.

Meanwhile, the Conference of Rulers called on all parties, especially the enforcement authorities and the influential people in society, to take more productive measures in addressing sedition and defamation that are often made openly in social media.

It is of the view that stern and thorough investigations should be made against those responsible for spreading news or stories that have yet to be proven true.

Those found guilty of crimes of slander and allegations must be immediately subjected to legal action as a form of warning and lesson in the interest of the well-being and prosperity of the people of this country, the statement said. — Bernama