Fahmi Fadzil, Malaysia’s Minister of Communications and Digital, recently began hosting TikTok live sessions.
At a live event on the night of Jun. 26, he allegedly threatened his critics with police action after receiving disparaging comments about him and the authorities, according to local media Malaysia Now.
Flood of TikTok comments
Fahmi started a live session that night, but as usual, was inundated by a flood of comments, some of which were irreverent and mocking.
Two hours into the session, Fahmi was quoted as saying to his viewers that they were “being monitored by the authorities”. Malaysia Now alleged that this in response to the commenters making critical statements of him and the government.
"Don't get upset with me if there is a call or a police car outside of your house. We are monitoring, behave yourself," Fahmi said.
Some netizens later took to the social media platform to further mock the minister.
@suffikamari #CapCut Unbelievable abang Fahmi. My humble piece of advise! Thank you. #fyp #fypシ #fypシ゚viral #fyppppppppppppppppppppppp #fypdongggggggg #PNcetus #selangorbaharu #KitaBangkit #change4selangor #PNBEST #fahmifadzil #malaysiatiktok ♬ Emotional Cinematic Sad Violin and Piano - ISAo
@kenotbreng #kenotbreng #cannotbreng #fahmifadzil #panastakpajangankoyak #madanon ♬ original sound - kenot breng
Said he was reminding viewers about 3R sensitivities
On Jun. 27, the Lembah Pantai Member of Parliament (MP) responded to the media outlet’s report.
He clarified that he was telling his viewers to avoid making sensitive or provoking comments about race, religion and royalty (3R), according to Free Malaysia Today (FMT).
“With regards to 3R, everything I have said remains the same.”
"I gave a reminder to everyone not to post incendiary 3R comments.”
“When I’m doing my TikTok live at events, often the comments people make touch on 3R. I’ve said this in many places that social media users should not use 3R for political purposes.”
Fahmi noted that derogatory comments were posted by many users watching his live sessions, so he had to remind them that they could be subjected to action by the authorities.
Earlier in April 2023, the Malaysian police set up a special team to deal with insults pertaining to 3R, according to Bernama.
The public was advised to refrain from uploading sensitive content so as to "preserve the harmony and unity of the multi-racial and religious community".
Critical of social media & press
He added that his ministry would cooperate with the social media app and others to make sure that posted content does not touch matters pertaining to 3R.
In March 2023, the minister slammed a combined survey conducted by some news outlets about the 100-day performance of Malaysia’s Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s government.
He later announced that the government was considering taking action against messaging app Telegram, while continuing to monitor TikTok, according to New Straits Times.
Fahmi also advocated for the amendments to the Communications and Multimedia Act 1988 (Act 588) and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission Act 1988 (Act 589), FMT reported.
He said that the changes were needed in order to keep up with the latest technological developments.
Top images via TikTok/@lokkohopunohreturn & Google Maps