Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak uses Facebook and Twitter to engage with the public but one of his senior police officers says the social networking sites foster “liberal” thinking and therefore pose a threat to national security.
Salleh Mat Rashid, director for internal security and public order, said the Internet poses a challenge to the police because it allows people “to know what is going on in and outside the country.” He then expressed concern about Facebook and Twitter, because they allow people to communicate with one another more easily, as in the case of the demonstrators who turned to social media to ignite mass actions that led to the Arab Spring.
“In a borderless world, human thinking will change greatly, particularly towards the liberal…This is what we’re afraid of because when the thinking of Malaysians is driven by negative things, specifically those that can threaten security and public order, it can lead to a situation where the country is no longer safe,” said Rashid, in remarks quoted in Utusan Malaysia, and cited by the Malaysian Insider, an English language online news portal in Kuala Lumpur.
His remarks, made during a Police Day celebration this week, immediately drew angry comments from people who point out that his thinking reflects a mindset of someone who wants to hold on to power. One reader commented online that what was most frightening about the comments was Rashid’s status as an official in charge of public order.
“The myopic thinking of Internal security and public order director Datuk Salleh Mat Rasid is a far greater danger to the country,” wrote one commenter. Another commenter said “The establishment is scared and angry because now people can think for themselves and have access to alternative sources of information… With FB and Twitter, people can gather and discuss and exchange ideas without having to be beaten up or tear-gassed by the establishment……”
For the story and all the comments, see the link below.