Wanita DAP condemns rape, death threats on 2 Selangor DAP assemblywomen

Media statement by DAP Member of Parliament for Batu Kawan and International Secretary for Wanita DAP Kasthuri Patto on Tuesday 26 May 2020 in Batu Kawan, Penang:

Condemnation of online death threats and rape on two DAP ADUNs YB Lim Wei Yi State Assemblyperson for Bukit Tunku and YB Jamaliah Jamaluddin State Assemblyperson for Bandar Utama on social media.

Wanita DAP condemns the cowardice, vile and criminal act of rape and death threats of 2 elected representatives from Selangor.

We stand in solidarity with all the survivors of online abuse, in all its forms and call for adequate women representation at all levels. It is clearly evident that with more women representation in decision making positions from all levels – from community leaders, councillors, State Assemblypersons, Members of Parliament, Ministers and Deputies as well as in enforcement and in the judiciary, including the Attorney General’s Chambers will have a greater positive impact on how these issues will be better addressed.

YB Jamaliah Jamaluddin ADUN for Bandar Utama received rape, sexual violence and death threats by a Facebook user under the name of “Najid Nabi” which compelled her to lodge a police report in fear of her safety on the 20th of May. “Najid Nabi” created his FB account on the 19th of May and has harassed these elected reps the very next day. It is clearly premeditated and is classic of a stalker targeting women on social media. He made this comment on a video post that featured YB Jamaliah, YB Lim Yi Wei and YB Maria Chin MP for Petaling Jaya which was uploaded on the 5th of March 2020.

Time and time again, many social media users become victims of online harassment, be it sexual, racist and religious extremists, political ideologies, appearance, age and even nationality – continue to suffer at the hands of merciless monsters, predators who prey on mostly female victims.

And being subjected to vile, horrible comments targeting female elected representatives is something we all had to live with.

But why should we? There are legislations under the Multimedia and Communications Act that criminalises online bullying or harassment.

Section 233 (1) (a) and (b) of the Multimedia and Communications Act clearly states that “a person by means of any network facilities or network service or applications service knowingly (i) makes, creates or solicits; and (ii) initiates the transmission of (a) any comment, request, suggestion or other communication which is obscene, indecent, false, menacing or offensive in character with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass another person; or (b) initiates a communication using any applications service, whether continuously, repeatedly or otherwise, during which communication may or may not ensue, with or without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any person at any number or electronic address.

Section 233 (3) states that “a person who commits an offence under this section shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding fifty thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to both and shall also be liable to a further fine of one thousand ringgit for every day during which the offence is continued after conviction”.

Apart from that Section 506 of the Penal Code, under “Punishment for criminal intimidation, “whoever commits the offence of criminal intimidation shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both; if the threat is to cause death or grievous hurt..” can be also used to punish the perpetrator.

With heavy punishments like this, why hasn’t it been a deterrent for future online stalkers and abusers? And with increasing online harassment during the MCO, the authorities and enforcement agencies cannot rest on their laurels by labelling these accounts as fake accounts and to ‘advise’ the complainant to simply ignore these threats and harassment.

A lax of urgency and action on the part of PDRM and MCMC to nab these sort of threats of murder and rape as opposed to abusers who target other high profile personalities will continue to allow them to freely threaten with rape and murder. Today it is these 2 ADUNs, tomorrow it could be some in our family or our work colleagues.

This sort of harassment, death threats and rape MUST STOP NOW.

We need our authorities, PDRM and MCMC to act with utmost importance and priority when handling cases of death threats, rape, cyberbullying, and sexual harassment online using the existing laws although we need the Sexual Harassment Act, amendments to the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code and specific laws to criminalise bullying and cyberbullying to be passed and enforced before we encounter such an act again.

Kasthuriraani Patto
Member of Parliament for Batu Kawan
International Secretary for Wanita DAP