The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has communicated with media platform providers such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to remove advertisements that invite Muslims to gamble to get funds for the “balik kampung” trip in conjunction with the Aidilfitri celebration.
In a statement today, MCMC said the content would be removed in accordance with the terms of service, as well as the community standards set by the overseas-based media platform providers.
The statement was issued following a two-minute video advertisement by a gambling company, which went viral on social media sites, inviting netizens to earn extra money for the Aidilfitri celebration by using the company’s service.
The commission said the parties involved, such as the production team, should be more sensitive and not be complicit in activities that promote online gambling, which is clearly against the law.
“Production of the content is subject to the Communications and Multimedia Content Code, which should be complied with by those involved in the production and distribution of content,” it said.
MCMC said in the freedom to provide content, providers should follow a content code that is in line with the norms of a pluralistic Malaysian society.
It said the act of disseminating the content would only directly help those involved in spreading messages that promote gambling, which could be detrimental to the Malaysian community.
“Social media users should also be more responsible by reporting such matters directly to the authorities for action instead of disseminating the content,” it said.
According to MCMC, online gambling activities and promotions are subject to the Common Gaming Houses Act 1953, which is under the jurisdiction of the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM).
Meanwhile, the police will be calling in the producer and actors suspected to be involved in the viral video promoting online gambling.
Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said the content of the video was clearly against the law.
He said the police investigations would focus more on the producer and actors who starred in the video.
“We will identify them, and they will be called in to give their statement on the matter,” he said in a statement today.
Acryl Sani said Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department has lodged a report to investigate the origin of this video.
He said the Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) would also be contacted to assist in the investigation, adding that the case would be investigated under Section 504 of the Penal Code and Section 4 (1) (g) of the Open Gambling House Act.
“The public is advised not to circulate or share this video through social media so as not to stir public concern,” he said.
The two-minute Hari Raya Aidilfitri-themed video clip, promoting online gambling, had been making its rounds on social media since yesterday.
In the video, two actresses were seen wearing traditional baju kurung while there was also a woman wearing a hijab.
The ad is by GDBet333, which calls itself “Malaysia’s top and trusted online casino”. It offers live dealer betting, slot games, online poker and 4D lotteries.
Its Raya commercial features a catchy Raya song and depicts a Muslim man looking for money to go back for Hari Raya.
The company then plugs its product and the catchy lyrics says how easy it is to get money.
The chorus goes: “GDBet333 ada, apa nak tunggu, marilah cuba, untung nasibmu, engkau berjaya, cuci semua, kemudian beraya” (“GDBet33 is here, what are you waiting for, try it, if you’re lucky, clean sweep and then celebrate Raya” in Malay).
The clip was uploaded on YouTube last week by the local online casino platform but has since been removed for violating community guidelines.
The clip has been viewed more than 300,000 times on Twitter.
Social media users have been sharing the video online which many say is inappropriate, especially for those who are fasting during Ramadan.
In Islam, gambling is strictly forbidden.
Others pointed out that the ad was misleading for teaching Muslims to use winnings from their gambling habit to celebrate Hari Raya.