Syed Saddiq dismisses connection between terrorism and online games

Yiswaree Palansamy
Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman speaks during a forum in Kuala Lumpur February 21, 2019. — Picture by Choo Choy May

SEPANG, March 17 — Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman today brushed off links between online games and terrorism, saying that digital games should not be nitpicked on to justify extremist actions.

The Muar MP also advised the public against blatantly making assumptions on the matter, adding that terrorism has happened long before the era of online games.

“Dear God. It’s not even related. When you see it, firstly, does it mean we have to ban all the games because it is related to shooting? I think it’s bigger than that and let’s give due respect to the victims.

“Trust me. Game or no game, once they have the extremist ideologies, they will still do it. Like in previous years even without PUBG, there was still terrorism.

“So let us not be too quick to assume,” Syed Saddiq said, calling on all to condemn terrorism, which goes against principles of humanity.

Syed Saddiq was asked to comment as to whether the government would consider banning online games such as PUBG, a popular game on mobile phones, following the fatal shootout in Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday.

PUBG is the acronym for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which is a hit among Malaysians.

Yesterday, Malaysia’s top anti-terrorism police officer Deputy Comm Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay urged the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to play a more proactive role in monitoring online games containing elements of war and violence.

Astro Awani reported Ayob as saying that though the police can initiate stern action on the matter, the initial move has to come from the MCMC.

He reportedly said that such games would influence players and lead to them acting out what they see online.

The death toll in the New Zealand mosque massacre rose to 50 today.

An Australian citizen identified as Brenton Tarrant, who is alleged to be a white supremacist, has been charged with murder.

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