IPOH, April 18 – Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek today called on social media practitioners to cease the dissemination and sharing of gory pictures of accidents and deaths, saying these were extreme and uncivilised acts. Expressing sadness and disappointment over the development of this undesirable culture, he said these acts were unethical and did not reflect good character. “I was saddened when I saw pictures of corpses disseminated on the social media. It is unethical and uncivilised to display these for viewing,” he told reporters after visiting Paloh state assemblyman Datuk Norzula Mat Diah of Kelantan who is under treatment at the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital here. Norzula was involved in a road accident, along the Cameron Highlands-Simpang Pulai Road yesterday, in which his wife Datin Maziah Din, 57, was killed.
Ahmad Shabery was asked to comment on the dissemination in the social media of pictures of the late Karpal Singh, 74, following a road accident yesterday on the North-South Expressway in Kampar in which the DAP leader and Bukit Gelugor MP was killed. Ahmad Shabery said the people should understand the feelings of the loved ones of the dead because these accidents could happen to anyone, even themselves. “I see that the social media practitioners have gone overboard. They should adhere to (journalistic) ethics so that such good habits will help to nurture a good culture in society,” he said. The minister said the people should also cease acts driven by political thinking based on anger and hate.
“We must respect those who have gone and are no more with us. Respect the feelings of their families and loved ones and refrain from getting involved in such activities, whether in politics or other matters. “These (accidents and deaths) can happen in opposition parties and they can happen in our parties; they can happen to others and they can happen to us,” he said. Ahmad Shabery said legislation would check extreme acts, but laws also had limitations. “We seem to be too hungry for freedom, but we do not know how to appreciate that freedom. “We abuse the freedom that we have and, in doing so, we show that we are uncivilised. This is not condoned in Islam and other religions,” he said.