1 day jail, RM4,000 fine for insulting Najib on Facebook

Source: FMT News

Money changer pleads guilty, as goverment lawyer presses for harsh sentence to deter other would-be offenders from making disparaging remarks about the prime minister. Pic from FMT News

KUALA LUMPUR: A foreign currency trader paid dearly for posting derogatory remarks about Prime Minister Najib Razak on his Facebook last year.

Mohd Nasaruddin Sairon, who hails from a Felda settlement in Kota Tinggi, Johor, was jailed a day and fined RM4,000 by a Sessions Court after he pleaded guilty to the charge.

The 41-year-old, who was unrepresented, committed the offence when he posted an emotionally charged remark about Najib on Facebook on Oct 8.

The posting on Nasaruddin’s Facebook page was read by a member of the public, Khalijah Mohamed, who filed a complaint with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) the following day. Read more

ARTICLE 19 PRESS STATEMENT – Malaysia: Cease investigations of The Star newspaper and its journalists

Source: Article 19 Facebook

ARTICLE 19 condemns the investigation of five editors and a photographer from The Star newspaper under the Sedition Act and the Penal Code for sedition and religious hate. The Star is being investigated by police for their front page of 27 May, which featured a photograph of Muslims performing their Tarawih prayer (a prayer performed during Ramadan) underneath a summary of a story which was, headlined “Malaysian Terrorist Leader”. The newspaper immediately issued a formal apology on 28 May citing an “error of judgement”.

The Home Ministry issued The Star a show-cause letter on 29 May calling for the newspaper to explain why its publication should not be suspended under the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984. This Act seriously limits independence of the media and free expression, giving broad power to the Home Minister to revoke or suspend a permit for any period he considers desirable. Criminal investigations were then opened on 30 May despite an earlier apology published by The Star and the suspension of Editor-in-Chief, Datuk Leanne Goh Lee Yen and Executive Editor, Dorairaj Nadason. Read more

Drop charges against Malaysiakini, says NGO

Source: FMT News

Article 19 says the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 is ‘vague and sweeping’ and in need of ‘urgent reform’. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Article 19 has hit out at charges against Malaysiakini’s CEO and editor-in-chief over a video the news portal had carried criticising Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali for clearing the prime minister of corruption allegations.

Article 19 called on the government to immediately drop the charges against Premesh Chandran, Steven Gan and KiniTV, which had aired the video in question.

The NGO said the charges, which were made under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA), underscored why the “vague and sweeping” legislation needed “urgent reform”.

“The increasing use of this law to target independent media and any online criticism of the government is seriously concerning, and also a clear violation of international human rights law on freedom of expression,” director of programmes David Diaz-Jogeix said in a statement today. Read more

Malaysiakini CEO claims trial to posting video on press conference about AG

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Malaysiakini CEO Premesh Chandran (pic) pleaded not guilty to the two charges under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia (CMA) Act 1998. Pic from DNA.

KUALA LUMPUR, May 15 — CEO of the Malaysiakini news portal Premesh Chandran was today charged with airing a video clip of a 2016 news conference about Attorney-General (AG) Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali deemed to be offensive.

Premesh pleaded not guilty to the two charges under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia (CMA) Act 1998 at the cyber court here.

He was also slapped with an additional two charges under Section 244(1) of the CMA in his capacity as director of the news portal’s video arm, KiniTV Sdn Bhd; similar to Malaysiakini chief editor-in-chief Steven Gan in November last year.

The video under the title “Khairuddin: Apandi Ali is not fit to be AG and he should quit immediately” was of a press conference held last July 27 by politician Datuk Khairuddin Abu Hassan was posted on the English and Bahasa Malaysia websites of KiniTV at different times. Read more

Activists slam MCMC for forcing censorship on social media

Source: FMT News

NGO Article 19 wants Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission to retract advisory to ‘group admins’ on chat group dos and dont’s, and tell users they won’t be held responsible for content posted by others. Pic from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: An organisation fighting for freedom of expression has taken Malaysia’s internet authority to task over its recent “advisory” to administrators of social media groups, saying it was an attempt at getting users to act as censors for the government.

The Malaysian chapter of rights group Article 19, named after Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, said the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) should retract the advisory immediately.

It also wants MCMC to tell social media users that they cannot be held responsible for content created by third parties.

The NGO said in a statement that it considered the MCMC advisory as “seeking to deliver an implicit threat to social media users”. Read more

MCMC does not spy on WhatsApp users, says Salleh

Source: The Star Online

Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak – Pic from the Star Online.

KUCHING: The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is only a regulatory body and does not monitor or spy on messages WhatsApp users send on the platform, said Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak.

Recent posts which alleged that the commission was monitoring content in the application was “absolutely false news,” the Communications and Multimedia Minister told reporters Friday after launching the Asean International Film Festival and Awards (AIFFA) 2017 Biz World.

Salleh said that the ministry had only been advising people against abusing the messaging platform as they were bound by the country’s laws and regulations.   Read more

MCMC’s guide for chat admins: Deal with trolls

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Last week, a local malay daily reported that WhatsApp chat group administrators risk facing imprisonment should they fail to contain the spread of false messages. — Reuters pic.

KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 — The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has released a do’s and dont’s guide for chat group administrators after warning them of potential prosecution over fake news.

On its official website, the MCMC posted a six-point guide, which included checking posts in chat groups with a moderator, commenting on posts to “ensure discussions stay on track”, and to “deal firmly with trolls”.

Some of the recommended do’s include informing members the reasons for setting up chat groups, setting ground rules, and to consider blocking members who insist on making inappropriate posts. Read more

‘Don’t charge WhatsApp admins, give guidelines first’

Source: FMT News

MCMC statement on WhatsApp group administrators being responsible for everything sent to group causes shockwave, resulting in disclaimer going viral. Pic from FMT News.

MCMC statement on WhatsApp group administrators being responsible for everything sent to group causes shockwave, resulting in disclaimer going viral. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Two groups representing workers and employers say proper rules and regulations are needed to manage social media and public communication platforms like WhatsApp.

The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) and Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) said this following a statement from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) that group administrators could be prosecuted if their WhatsApp groups were caught spreading fake news.

“It is too drastic. The government should provide proper guidelines first on how to manage WhatsApp rather than straight away implement laws to prosecute people,” MTUC president Abdul Halim Mansor told FMT today.

Having the proper rules and regulations in place is better than prosecution, he added. Read more

‘Admin WhatsApp’ boleh dipenjara

Source: BH Online

KUALA LUMPUR: Admin (pentadbir) kumpulan WhatsApp berdepan tindakan undang-undang sekiranya gagal membendung penyebaran maklumat palsu dalam kalangan ahli sehingga menggugat keselamatan negara.

Timbalan Menteri Komunikasi dan Multimedia, Datuk Jailani Johari, berkata tindakan undang-undang sedia ada di bawah Akta Komunikasi dan Multimedia 1998 boleh dipertimbangkan untuk mengambil tindakan terhadap pentadbir terbabit.

Di bawah akta itu, pelbagai kesalahan boleh dikenakan tindakan seperti menyebarkan berita palsu, fitnah, menghasut, penipuan dan pendedahan komunikasi yang dilarang iaitu mendedahkan maklumat di bawah Akta Rahsia Rasmi (OSA).   Read more

Man charged over photo allegedly insulting PM and wife

Source: FMT News

Facebook posting of photo of man allegedly holding placard with obscene words sees him charged with 'intent to upset others', which carries a maximum fine of RM50,000. Pic from FMT News.

Facebook posting of photo of man allegedly holding placard with obscene words sees him charged with ‘intent to upset others’, which carries a maximum fine of RM50,000. Pic from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: A self-employed man claimed trial at the Magistrate’s Court today on two charges of allegedly uploading a photo of himself holding a placard with vulgar words that were deemed as insulting the prime minister and his wife.

Kum Eng Choon from Klang, was charged under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act with the intention to upset others, through his Facebook account, “Kum Dage”.

If found guilty, he will face a maximum fine of RM50,000 or one year in jail, or both.

The 38-year-old also faces another charge for the same picture under Section 550 of the Penal Code for public mischief.

He is liable to be jailed up to two years, or pay a fine, or both, if convicted.

Magistrate Mahyuddin Mohmad Som granted Kum a bail of RM5,000 with a surety for the two charges. Read more