Putrajaya wielding multimedia law to police dissent, says Suaram

Source: The Malaysian Insight

Suaram launched its Human Right Overview 2017 Report at Kuala Lumpur And Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall today. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Nazir Sufari, December 7, 2017

AUTHORITIES are using a multimedia law much more this past year as it has a wider latitude over the sedition act, rights group Suaram said today.

The number of cases filed under Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA) jumped to 249 over nine under the sedition act which was widely used in the Najib government’s first term.

This was the finding of Suaram’s Human Rights Report 2017 Overview, which was launched at Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall today.

According to the report, the use of the Sedition Act reduced significantly with just nine cases in 2017, while there were 269 cases investigated under CMA between January and September 30 this year.

Of this, 146 cases were investigated under Section 233 of CMA with 56 investigation papers submitted to the Attorney-General’s Chamber

The Suaram report cited a Parliamentary reply by Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Jailani Johari dated November 6.

Suaram programme coordinator Dobby Chew said: “The Sedition Act is now used for specific cases. Read more

Malaysia under spotlight in freedom of thought index after atheist ‘hunt’

Source: Malay Mail Online

Reuters pic

In this year’s Freedom of Thought Report by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), Malaysia was given a score of 4.5, with 5 being the worst possible score. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 7 — Malaysia has been singled out and listed among seven countries worldwide that practise “active persecution” of the non-religious in a global index released Tuesday, following a so-called “hunt” against atheists starting earlier this year.

In this year’s Freedom of Thought Report by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), Malaysia was given a score of 4.5, with 5 being the worst possible score.

“Through publication of this report, the IHEU issues a warning: that in at least seven countries the non-religious were actively persecuted in new or evolving major incidents or trends in 2017.

“We record new waves of incitement to hatred or violence in at least Malaysia, Mauritania and Pakistan,” IHEU director of communications Bob Churchill wrote in his editorial introduction to the report.

Malaysia had scored 4 for the categories of “Constitution and government” and “Education and children’s rights”, but 5 for “Family, community, society” and “Freedom of expression, humanist values”. Read more

PSM wants Suaram to start campaign over arrests for royal slurs

Source: Malay Mail Online

Picture by Choo Choy May

PSM central committee member S. Arutchelvan accused authorities of inciting fear with the Communications and Multimedia Act by allegedly arrest people for ‘joking online’. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 7—Concerned with growing arrests over alleged insults against the Johor royal house, PSM has asked rights advocacy group Suaram to start a campaign to publicise the matter.

PSM central committee member S. Arutchelvan accused authorities of inciting fear with the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) by allegedly arrest people for “joking online”.

“People joke and the next thing you know they are arrested and have been dragged to Johor. I think Suaram needs to organise a concerted campaign about what to do with Johor. The people in Johor find it difficult to even hold a candlelight vigil at night,” he said. Read more

Suaram says fewer sedition cases recorded in 2017

Source: Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: The use of the Sedition Act 1948 to curb freedom of expression took a backseat this year, with related offences largely falling under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA), a Suaram report found.

The 55-page Suaram human rights report overview, which was launched today, said there were nine known documented cases under the Sedition Act, while the CMA had 146.

“While the overall reduction in arrest, detention and prosecution under the Sedition Act is a welcome improvement, the documented cases in 2017 suggests that the Act still stands as one of the more noteworthy laws in restricting freedom of expression, despite the existence of other more well-used legal provisions,” the report said. Read more