Group wants to see proposed Internet laws before Parliament debate

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Just last year alone, a total of 1,263 websites were blocked by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission. — File pic

Just last year alone, a total of 1,263 websites were blocked by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, May 16 — The National Human Rights Society (Hakam) today urged the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) to allow civil society to view its proposed amendments to Internet laws here before tabling them to the Dewan Rakyat.

In a statement, Hakam secretary-general Robyn Choi noted that the amendments to the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) 1998 have yet to be publicly revealed but were due for tabling in the current parliamentary meeting.

“Hakam fears that the proposed amendments will most likely have the effect of further stifling freedom of speech online through the usual means of (a) regulating online content; (b) licensing and registration requirements for news providers and bloggers; (c) additional enforcement powers; (d) widening the range of offences; and (e) imposing stiffer fines and harsher penalties for existing offences,” Choi said.

She claimed that over the past two years, Putrajaya has already been interfering with free speech through the increased blocking of media websites, the intensified questioning and arrests of activists, journalists, lawyers and even cartoonists over online content, as well as the passing of tougher laws regulating online expression.

Just last year alone, a total of 1,263 websites were blocked by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) while between January and February this year, a further 399 sites were blocked and 22 people called for questioning, Choi added. Read more

STATEMENT: Online Freedom and Bill to Amend the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA)

pdfSTATEMENT DATED 16 MAY 2016

ONLINE FREEDOM AND BILL TO AMEND THE COMMUNICATIONS AND MULTIMEDIA ACT 1998 (CMA)

HAKAM views with disquiet the news reports that the government plans to further regulate the use of the internet, especially online media, through amendments to the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA). The Bill to amend the CMA is expected to be tabled at the next Parliament sitting which commences on 16th May.

The specific CMA amendments sought have not been made public. HAKAM fears that the proposed amendments will most likely have the effect of further stifling freedom of speech online through the usual means of (a) regulating online content; (b) licensing and registration requirements for news providers and bloggers; (c) additional enforcement powers; (d) widening the range of offences; and (e) imposing stiffer fines and harsher penalties for existing offences.

In the past two years, the government had severely interfered with freedom of speech through increased blocking of media websites both local and international, intensified questioning and/or arrests of activists, journalists, lawyers and cartoonists over online content and the passing of a series of tougher laws with stiffer penalties for offences to do with online expression. Read more

STATEMENT: Online Freedom and Bill to Amend the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA)

STATEMENT DATED 16 MAY 2016

ONLINE FREEDOM AND BILL TO AMEND THE COMMUNICATIONS AND MULTIMEDIA ACT 1998 (CMA)

HAKAM views with disquiet the news reports that the government plans to further regulate the use of the internet, especially online media, through amendments to the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA). The Bill to amend the CMA is expected to be tabled at the next Parliament sitting which commences on 16th May.

The specific CMA amendments sought have not been made public. HAKAM fears that the proposed amendments will most likely have the effect of further stifling freedom of speech online through the usual means of (a) regulating online content; (b) licensing and registration requirements for news providers and bloggers; (c) additional enforcement powers; (d) widening the range of offences; and (e) imposing stiffer fines and harsher penalties for existing offences.

In the past two years, the government had severely interfered with freedom of speech through increased blocking of media websites both local and international, intensified questioning and/or arrests of activists, journalists, lawyers and cartoonists over online content and the passing of a series of tougher laws with stiffer penalties for offences to do with online expression. Read more

Tiada garis panduan khusus untuk media atas talian, kata menteri

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider

25 SEPT — Kementerian komunikasi dan multimedia tidak akan mewujudkan garis panduan khusus bagi media atas talian, dalam langkah yang dilihat lebih lembut berbanding cadangan asal untuk mengetatkan undang-undang Internet.

Menteri Komunikasi dan Multimedia Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak berkata, ini kerana pengamal media atas talian sudah sedia maklum undang-undang tertentu melibatkan mereka.

“Tidak ada garis panduan yang khusus bagi media portal.

“Ini kerana saya rasa semua media baik media cetak ataupun portal-portal berita memahami terdapat undang-undang tertentu yang mengawal selia operasi mereka,” katanya kepada The Malaysian Insider dalam satu wawancara emel baru-baru ini.

Tambahnya, apa yang penting bagi kementerian, pengamal media sentiasa telus dalam membuat pemberitaan dengan penuh etika kewartawanan.

“Apa yang penting, media portal yang lebih berani dari segi pendekatan kewartawanan mereka tidak menyalahgunakan kebebasan akhbar yang sedia ada. Read more

No special rules for online media, says new minister

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Putrajaya accuses Sarawak Report of malice in its reporting on the 1MDB scandal and has blocked the UK-based site. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, September 25, 2015.

The Communications and Multimedia Ministry will no longer draw up guidelines specifically for online news websites, in what seems to be a softening of tone on earlier proposals to have more Internet regulations.

Its minister, Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak, said this was because media practitioners were aware of the laws regulating their industry.

“There will be no specific guidelines for media portals.

“I feel all media, be it print or news portals, understand that there are laws governing their operations,” he told The Malaysian Insider in an email interview recently.

What was more important to the ministry, he said, was for media practitioners to be transparent in their reporting and to practise the highest standards of journalism ethics. Read more

Online abuse of free speech makes new Internet laws necessary, minister says

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Last Thursday, Salleh revealed that Putrajaya may soon introduce tighter Internet laws to regulate social media postings as well as compel online news organisations to register their websites. — AFP pic

KOTA KINABALU, Aug 13 — Putrajaya is planning new laws to regulate online media due to alleged misuse of the constitutional right to freedom of expression on the Internet, said newly-appointed Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak.

While declining to elaborate on the new legislation that is viewed as Putrajaya reneging on its pledge not to police the Internet, the minister gave his assurance that plan to limit speech online was made with good intentions.

“People are now becoming openly irresponsible with their statements or expressions on the internet and social media, and hiding it under the ‘freedom of expression umbrella’.

“There is a difference between freedom of expression and making slanderous statements or character assassination,” said Salleh.

He explained that while the Federal Constitution guarantees Malaysians the right to free speech and expression, this was not a licence to defame.

Salleh also said that there was no country with absolute freedom of speech. Read more

Govt considers registering portals

Source: The Star Online

EXCLUSIVE: PUTRAJAYA: Online news portals may have to be registered in the future under proposed amendments to the cyber laws, expected to be tabled in October.

Newly appointed Communica­tions and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak said the ministry was looking at several models, including one adopted by Singapore.

“I’ve been meeting Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) officials to study the proposals.

“We are also looking at the structural aspects of MCMC and at amendments to tackle issues such as pornography, online gambling and Islamic State (IS) threats, among others.

“This is being done in the national interest,” said Dr Salleh in an exclusive interview withThe Star yesterday.

Dr Salleh said the changes would include the MCMC having the power to block sites deemed as “threats to national security and stability”.

However, he gave the assurance that the Government had no plans to restrict the usage of social media.

Read more

Portal berita perlu berdaftar di bawah cadangan pindaan akta, kata menteri

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider

Portal berita perlu berdaftar di bawah cadangan pindaan undang-undang siber sedia ada, lapor The Star, memetik Menteri Komunikasi dan Multimedia Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak. – Gambar fail The Malaysian Insider, 6 Ogos, 2015.

6 OGOS — Portal berita mungkin perlu berdaftar di bawah cadangan pindaan kepada undang-undang siber sedia ada, lapor The Star hari ini, memetik menteri komunikasi dan multimedia yang baru dilantik.

Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak memberitahu akhbar itu dalam satu temubual, cadangan pindaan itu mungkin akan dibentangkan Oktober, pada sidang Parlimen akan datang.

Beliau berkata, kementerian itu melihat kepada beberapa opsyen, termasuk sistem yang digunakan negara jiran, Singapura, dalam membuat cadangan pindaan kepada Akta Komunikasi dan Multimedia 1998 itu.

“Saya bertemu dengan pegawai Suruhanjaya Komunikasi dan Multimedia Malaysia (SKMM) untuk mengkaji cadangan itu.

“Kami melihat kepada aspek struktur SKMM dan pindaan bagi menangani isu seperti pornografi, judi atas talian dan ancaman militan Negara Islam Iraq dan Syria (Isis).

“Ini sedang dilakukan demi kepentingan negara,” beliau dipetik sebagai berkata. Read more