BY SUSAN LEONG & TERENCE LEE
Not long ago, the Malaysian government thought that mastery of the internet was a path towards economic development. In February 1996, it launched the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC), essentially a special economic zone, to entice high-technology corporations like Microsoft to set up shop in Malaysia.
To ensure the MSC’s appeal to prospective technology investors, restrictions on both the information technology market and on online expression were loosened. Whereas television, radio and newspapers remained restricted by laws like the Printing Presses and Publications Act, concessions to freedom of business ownership, employment quotas and censorship of the internet were made for the MSC.
Yet recently, two acts — the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA Act) and the Sedition Act — have been used repeatedly to contain the zeal with which Malaysians have taken to the internet. Read more