By Robin Augustin, Free Malaysia Today
PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission is looking into a radio interview in which a local NGO leader had made disparaging remarks about the Rohingya community.
In a statement to FMT, the commission said it was aware of the Bernama Radio interview with Halim Ishak, who heads the Malaysian Community Care Foundation.
In the 30-minute interview, which was posted on Bernama Radio’s Facebook page on Thursday, Halim had described Rohingyas as dirty, ill-mannered and with poor hygiene. “They (Rohingyas) have a problem with manners and culture, this race, most of them cheat and carry out illegal activities,” he said.
MCMC said the commission would be “evaluating and investigating the content of the interview accordingly before any follow-up actions are taken”. It said all broadcasting stations are subject to the provisions of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 and the Content Code.”
The video clip of the interview is no longer available. It had been posted at https://www.facebook.com/bernamaradio/videos/582912915968320/
The interview with Halim came at a time of xenophobic attacks on the community, which comprises people of an ethnic minority in Myanmar who fled a genocidal campaign.
Halim’s remarks have been criticised by the Malaysian Islamic Organisations Consultative Council (Mapim) whose president, Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid, urged the mass media not to publish, broadcast, or perpetuate fake news because there were serious implications in their doing so.