A Hari Raya-themed video showing a group of actors promoting online gambling has not only infuriated Malaysians, but has also caught the attention of local authorities
The two-minute advertisement tells the story of a Malaysian who does not have much money to celebrate Hari Raya.
To resolve that, the song playing in the video suggests the character gamble on their website to win some Raya money.
A few lines from the lyrics say, "Come to [the online gambling site], there is a lot of money that can be won. Come to [the online gambling site], win big and your Raya will surely be joyous."
The video is believed to have been filmed in Malaysia, featuring actors believed to be Indians and Malays.
mStar reported the video was first uploaded on YouTube last week, before it was taken down. However, the YouTube channel is still accessible, so is its online gambling site.
A tweet carrying the video that SAYS sighted has since gone viral with over 330,000 views and 1,900 retweets
In the replies to the tweet, many Malaysians were appalled by the insensitivity of the advertisement, especially when it is promoted during Ramadan — the most sacred month of the year for Muslims.
"Don't they know that they are making fun of Islam? Hope this team all tell us why they do this," wrote a netizen.
"Astaghfirullahalazim. This is really insulting," one Twitter user commented.
Another added, "(I've) been thinking about the actors and actresses who are Muslim. Is it halal to make money from acting for a gambling company?"
In response to the incident, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) said action will be taken against those involved
MCMC stated that gambling activities and online gambling promotions are subjected to the Common Gaming Houses Act 1953, which is under the jurisdiction of the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM).
"Following the broadcasting of an advertisement that invited Muslims in this country to gamble in order to get 'balik kampung' donations in conjunction with Hari Raya Aidilfitri that has since gone viral, MCMC would like to inform that it has communicated with media platform providers such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to take down the content in accordance with service terms and community standards that have been set by them," wrote the government agency in a statement dated today, 16 April.
MCMC also advised that the parties involved in the making of the advertisement — such as the production team and actors — be more sensitive and not take part in activities that promote online gambling, which it said is clearly an offence.
The regulatory body also urged social media users not to share such content with their peers, but instead report the content directly to the authorities.
"The act of disseminating the content will only directly help the parties involved in spreading their message to promote online gambling which can be detrimental to Malaysian society," MCMC said.