PETALING JAYA - The Sedition Act will be used against those who destroy racial harmony, says the Prime Minister.
"The rakyat should not create racial hatred via the Internet or messaging apps on their phones," Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said in the aftermath of the weekend brawl at Low Yat Plaza.
"I have ordered the Home Ministry and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission to monitor them thoroughly and at the same time I will use the relevant Acts, especially the Sedition Act, against those who destroy racial harmony."
He said this in a statement in Mandarin on his Facebook page.
Najib said he was disappointed with the incident at the plaza that escalated into a violent brawl and the ensuing racist arguments online.
"I am disappointed at this phenomenon. The police have taken action against those involved in the crimes and also the troublemakers.
"Everyone must stop spreading rumours and rely on official statements issued by the police," said Najib.
On Sunday, several people, including two journalists, were injured in a mob attack near Low Yat Plaza after police dispersed protesters at the shopping mall.
An eyewitness said a group of 50 to 60 men barged into a food outlet near the shopping mall and assaulted the patrons with motorcycle helmets at around midnight.
Earlier in the night, a group of about 100, reportedly members of Malay-Muslim group Pertubuhan Kebajikan dan Dakwah Islamiah Se-Malaysia (Pekida), gathered at the Low Yat Plaza following Saturday's melee.
However, Pekida has denied that the group sent out instructions for any gathering on Sunday.
At a press conference yesterday, Najib urged Malaysians not to follow mob rule but remain calm over the attacks that occurred at Low Yat Plaza.
He said the matter should be viewed as a criminal act rather than a racially-charged incident.
"The matter should be investigated by the police and action will be taken against the culprits," he told reporters after distributing food packets to some 300 homeless people at Jalan Sultan Ismail.
Najib urged the public not to misuse the social media to spread misinformation.
"Certain irresponsible quarters have uploaded pictures which have nothing to do with what happened.
"Please do not easily believe everything that is posted online.
"Right now, we have freedom on social media. Perhaps the problem is when we have too much freedom.
"It is something that we should study in detail," he said.