On Thursday, 14 January, the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM) set up a five-member investigation committee
The committee has been set up to investigate the vulgar tweets dated 2013 and 2014 by the official Twitter account of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).
KKMM has officially named it the Committee for the Investigation of Indecent Remarks Cases in 2014.
According to KKMM secretary-general Datuk Seri Mohammad Mentek, this investigation committee will be chaired by KKMM deputy secretary-general Tan Chuan Ou and will have four other members.
Starting today, 15 January, the committee is said to have started its detailed investigation into the issue of the vulgar tweets that were tweeted by the MCMC official Twitter account, before it was taken down
The purpose of the investigation, according to a report in Bernama, is "to identify" how the "old tweets containing indecent remarks on the MCMC Twitter account" surfaced.
The five-member committee will carry out this investigation "through the examination of documents, rules, operating methods, parties involved, and the possibility of elements of abuse or misappropriation".
"This committee will also recommend appropriate action, including disciplinary action, (lodging a) police report or reporting to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), or bringing a civil action in court against the parties involved if there is negligence or misconduct in this issue," Mohammad Mantek said.
According to the KKMM secretary-general, the five-member committee will carry out the investigation in a transparent manner
Upon the completion of the investigation, the committee will propose improvement measures to ensure what happened on the MCMC Twitter account doesn't recur in future, and a report on the results will also be submitted to Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah for further action.
Saifuddin had, on 13 January, released a statement saying that he has ordered the KKMM secretary-general "to launch a full investigation from every angle, including the operating procedures of said Twitter account".
Not looped into what happened? Here's a TL;DR:
On 12 January, on the day Malaysians woke up to a declaration of the state of emergency effective 11 January, MCMC issued a statement imploring the public to be "courteous" when posting online.
In the statement, the official Twitter account of MCMC noted that they will be monitoring the spread of false information and statements that touch on the '3Rs' — race, religion, and royalty.
Within hours, the official Twitter account of MCMC was about to find out that the ordinary people of Malaysia, already reeling under the pandemic, do not take kindly to threats. Enter the UNO Reverse Card!
Netizens responded to MCMC's threat to punish people for expressing themselves by digging up years-old tweets that were posted by the agency's official Twitter account between 2013 and 2014.
While the original tweets are no longer available as the MCMC's Twitter account no longer exists, the Malaysian Twittersphere kept the receipts in the form of screenshots.
Following this, MCMC deleted its official Twitter account and issued a statement.
The agency claimed that its account was "hacked" by an irresponsible party.
In the statement, MCMC, once again, warned the people to not be influenced by the "suspicious, ugly, and defamatory messages that have been uploaded through the account, which are not from MCMC".
Prior to MCMC's statement, a Twitter user already claimed that the tweets being circulated belonged to him when he still owned the account, before selling it when he was in Form 3 or 4.
According to the Twitter user, he sold the account to another user with the Twitter username @SaidOsem, but does not know what happened after that and as to how it became the official Twitter account for MCMC.
Malay Mail reported that the person who purchased the Twitter account is believed to be either a current or former staff member at MCMC, something the agency has not admitted to in its statement.