KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysians who post clips of motorbike gangs performing dangerous stunts on the Internet will be prosecuted for inciting unrest and taunting police, a report said Monday.
Deputy Internal Security Minister Fu Ah Kiow said the authorities would crack down on such postings on YouTube and other websites to deter Malaysians from using the Internet to stir up trouble.
“Action will be taken against these people ... We have to stop this now as others could post more harmful materials which could threaten security and racial harmony,” the New Straits Times quoted Fu as saying. “This is seen as provoking the police.”
Malaysian authorities have launched a crackdown on motorcyclists who flout the law, especially biker gangs known as Mat Rempit, who are considered road menaces.
Fu’s comments come in the wake of increasing government concern over what it says is abuse of the Internet.
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi earlier this year accused Malaysians of using the medium to spread lies and unfounded allegations about him.
The premier has also defended a move by the government-linked New Straits Times to sue two bloggers for defamation over a series of articles critical of his administration.
Media watchdogs have slammed the unprecedented lawsuits as assaults on freedom of expression on the Internet.
But Fu said Malaysians must be educated to “differentiate between truth and lies on the Internet.”
“We are not out to censor the Internet but those using the cyberspace must realise that they can be prosecuted for abusing the Internet,” Fu said.
In a separate report Monnday, the New Straits Times said police had confiscated 1,122 motorbikes after their owners were found to be riding without valid licences, road tax and insurance coverage.
Police said 107 of the 183 people killed during a nationwide road safety campaign for the Lunar New Year were motorcyclists, the daily reported.