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

Prescribing press freedom in Malaysia

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Dr Mustafa K. Anuar would still like to believe that the earth is flat so that all the elements of social injustice, bigotry and tyranny on this earth can be pushed off the edge. On this supposedly flat surface, he is a Fellow at the Penang Institute. Pic form the MMO.

MAY 4 — The fact that Malaysia attained the 144th slot in the Reporters Without Borders’ 2017 Press Freedom Ranking of 180 countries leaves a bad taste in the mouth for it obviously indicates Malaysia’s poor standing as far as press freedom and freedom of expression are concerned.

Clearly, this ranking is nothing to be joyous about. If anything, there’s a lot to be concerned about.

It does not come as a surprise though to many of us in the wake of what has happened in recent times when press freedom and other civil liberties encounter immense challenges from the powers-that-be.

Not too long ago, for instance, Malaysian journalists were banned from the Parliament’s lobby area by the Speaker of the otherwise august Dewan Rakyat, thereby preventing them from having direct access to information sought from politicians concerned.

This is the very place where vital issues confronting the nation are often discussed and debated, the results of which would have far-reaching implications on the general public.

And yet, ordinary Malaysians are deprived of such important information when journalists are prevented from seeking answers on their behalf within the lobby area.  Read more

Marriage and divorce bill unfair to Muslims, says think tank

Source: FMT News

PETALING JAYA: A think tank has criticised proposed amendments to the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act, saying they infringe on the liberty of Muslims, particularly the newly converted.

Giving an example of such infringement, Azril Mohd Amin, chief executive officer of the Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy (Centhra), pointed to the requirement for consent of both parents for conversion of a child to Islam.

“This is discriminatory against Muslims as conversion to other religions requires no such joint consent,” he said.

He added that the requirement for joint consent would violate the Federal Constitution, which states that the religion of a child below the age of 18 shall be decided by his parent (either the mother or father) or guardian. Read more

Muslim NGO: It is Malays who are discriminated against

Source: FMT News

Centre for the Human Rights Research and Advocacy (Centhra) refutes US report that minorities in Malaysia are being discriminated against. FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy (Centhra), a coalition of Islamic NGOs, claims that it is actually the Malay Muslims who suffer religious discrimination in the country, while the minorities are free to practice their religions.

In refuting the findings of a report by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), Centhra chief executive officer Azril Mohd Amin said minorities in Malaysia do not suffer any religious discrimination.

“The reality is quite the opposite. The Malay majority suffers from discrimination on grounds of religious belief while the minorities are allowed free passes, even to the extent of breaking laws, on grounds of freedom of religion,” he claimed.

Centhra was responding to the USCIRF’s 2017 report which outlined some of the restrictions on religious freedom in the nation. Among other things, it said the Malaysian government actively restricted freedom of expression and punished those who criticised it, including online. Read more

World Press Freedom Day 2017 — Alaleh Eghbali

3 May is World Press Freedom Day. It is a day in honour and in support of one of the most fundamental of rights – freedom of press. The right to express freely and share information without fear of consequences. The right enshrined in Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and marking the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek, a statement of principles for freedom of press compiled by African newspaper journalists in 1991. It is on this day that the governments of the world are reminded to uphold this sacred right, and for people to defend the forth pillar of democracy, the media, from attacks on their independence. 

The United Nations has chosen “Critical Minds for Critical Times: Media’s role in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive societies” as the theme of this year’s World Press Freedom Day. In times that independent media is under attack, all around the globe, it is more important than ever to remember the principles by which journalists are bound and the invaluable service they offer communities. Sri Lankan journalist Lasantha Wickrematunghe, who was assassinated in 2009, described free media as “a mirror in which the public can see itself sans mascara and styling gel”, adding: “From [them] you learn the state of your nation, and especially its management by the people you elected to give your children a better future”.*

On their part, journalists and media, without whom truth could be long lost in the world of politics and corruption, owe their loyalty to the people. Honesty, impartiality, professional ethics, and a responsibility to provide verified and reliable information are inseparable elements of journalism. There are many who tirelessly work and offer balanced and fair news to the public, abiding by the principles. It is this day that we thank them as citizens who rely on their conscious to know the reality of our world. Read more