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Religious Issues A Threat To Unity, Umno Youth Leader Says

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KUALA LUMPUR: Religious insults and racial hatred, such as mocking the Muslim call to prayers (Azan) by controversial blogger Alvin Tan, should be censored from the Internet to maintain Malaysia’s harmony, said Umno Youth exco member Ibdillah Ishak.

“Some things need boundaries such as religious insults, race hate, and many more,” he said.

On the video clip showing Tan reciting the Azan as an “R&B cover,” Ibdillah, who is Umno Youth social media bureau chairman, said:

“I think he is trying to make himself relevant and we should just ignore him.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re Chinese, Indian, Malay, Kadazan, black or white, on social media we’re a big Malaysian family,” he said at the World Bloggers and Social Media Summit here on Thursday.

“I may come from a party that fights for the Malays but it doesn’t stop me from being a proud Malaysian,” he added.

Ibdillah said unity in Malaysia is “threatened” by the many forms of “strains and conflicts” as a result of religious issues.

“This has occasionally erupted into riots and killings, such as the one that occurred during May 13, 1969,” he said.

The Summit is part of the programme for the Malaysia Social Media Week that features a diverse roster of more than 30 international speakers and social media specialists from about 10 countries.

Key speakers include former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Deputy Education Minister P. Kamalanathan, Social@Ogilvy regional director Jonathan Nguyen, India’s Bharatiya Janata Party national head of information technology Arvind Gupta, Lenovo social data consultant Anna Rokina, Times Group Digital chief editor Rajesh Kalra, personalities such as Christopher Tock, Joe Lee, and bloggers Grace Tan and Ng Sock Peng.

Malaysia Social Media Week began on Tuesday and will end on Saturday.

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