91 cases of spreading fake news recorded last year

Source: The Malay Mail Online

A total of 91 cases involving the dissemination and publication of fake news on social media were recorded last year. ― Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 — A total of 91 cases involving the dissemination and publication of fake news on social media were recorded last year.

The Communications and Multimedia Ministry said of the total, 54 cases were resolved while 11 cases were brought to court for further action.

The number also saw a 12.5 per cent decline compared to the previous year due to the cross-coordination approach implemented by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) with various government agencies to counter the dissemination of fake news.

“In 2017, MCMC took action against 3,721 fake accounts identified in various social media platforms and nearly 80 per cent of them had been deleted from social media platform providers such as Facebook and Twitter,” the ministry said in a written reply in the Dewan Rakyat today. Read more

Police mull getting NGOs to act as middleman with human trafficking victims

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 — The police said today they will consider roping in non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to help investigations on human exploitation and trafficking.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Noor Rashid Ibrahim said the suggestion was highlighted by several NGOs because exploited victims sometime feared repercussion from criminal syndicates if they spoke to law enforcement personnel.

“They know better than us because they are civilians and victims are more willing to talk to them.

“We will definitely pursue this matter as they have offered themselves to be the middleman on behalf of the police,” he said after attending an engagement session with NGOs on human trafficking at the federal police headquarters today.

About 60 people from the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), the Malaysian Bar, and several human rights NGOs like Suaram and Tenaganita attended the dialogue organised together with the Council for Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrant (MAPO) under the Home Ministry. Read more

TI-M: Weak enforcement of corruption laws close to ‘criminal negligence’

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Transparency International-Malaysia chairman Akhbar Satar – The Malaysian Insight pic by Kamal Ariffin, February 22, 2018.

KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 — Authorities can be considered almost “criminally” negligent in their failure to strictly enforce the country’s strong laws against corruption, according to a Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) report released today.

In its inaugural Business Integrity Country Agenda (BICA), the watchdog gave Malaysia 100 across the board for its comprehensive laws to prohibit bribery of public officials, commercial bribery, laundering of crime proceeds, and collusion.

However, the same areas were all given marks of 50 when evaluated in terms of their enforcement.

Each area is scored from 0 to 100 by intervals of 25; 100 indicates that all requirements from the United Nations Convention Against Corruption 2004 were fulfilled while 0 shows that none was met.

Speaking at the launch, TI-M president Datuk Akhbar Satar said the findings made it clear where to concentrate reform efforts

“Malaysia has scored well in part of the indicator on legislations in the public sector in the BICA report.

“However, having laws that were not strictly enforced is like having a medicine chest full of the most wonderful modern drugs and not using them to treat a dangerously sick person on his last leg.

“By any yardstick, this would be considered criminal negligence,” he said in his speech at BICA report launch at the Royale Chulan Kuala Lumpur here today. Read more

Political funding scores ducks in watchdog’s inaugural integrity report

Source: The Malay Mail Online

TI-M president Datuk Akhbar Satar said the scores should not be construed negatively but used instead as references and suggestions for future improvement. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 — Four areas concerning political funding in Malaysia received zero marks in Transparency International-Malaysia’s (TI-M) first Business Integrity Country Agenda (BICA) report released today.

Each topic is scored from 0 to 100 by intervals of 25; 100 indicates that all requirements were met while 0 shows that none was met.

The four areas that earned the zeros were: Laws on political contributions, laws on lobbying, enforcement and public disclosure on political contributions, and enforcement and public disclosure on lobbying.

Putrajaya proposed to enact laws on political funding in 2015, but is yet to introduce any.

“One of the black spots is the issue of undue influence. At the moment, Malaysia has no laws whatsoever on political contribution or lobbying,” said TI-M president Datuk Akhbar Satar today. Read more

Putrajaya to deliberate self-regulation for media, PPPA amendment post-elections

Source: The Malay Mail Online

PUTRAJAYA, March 13 — The federal government is prepared to engage news editors to discuss the possibility of a self-regulating media body, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said today.

He added that the government will also look at improvements to the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA) after the 14th general elections.

“We must make sure that the freedom to write and publish is not very restrictive according to current guidelines,” Zahid said during a luncheon with the editors here.

He said he recognised the need to improve provisions of the PPPA as well as adopt changes that address the current climate in the news industry. Read more

Woman born to Muslim-Buddhist couple wants court recognition as non-Muslim

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Rosliza Ibrahim said she was raised a Buddhist, arguing that she should be considered a non-Muslim despite her Muslim father as she is an illegitimate child. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 — A Selangor woman born to a Muslim father but raised as a Buddhist by her Buddhist mother who was never legally married wants the court to declare her as a non-Muslim.

Rosliza Ibrahim, who turns 37 in November, has been on a long journey to seek official recognition that she is a non-Muslim. Her case is finally before the Court of Appeal today.

“She was raised a Buddhist by her mother, she continues to profess Buddhism till this day and wants to continue living her life peacefully as a Buddhist in Malaysia,” Rosliza’s lawyer Aston Paiva said when explaining his client’s case.

According to Rosliza, Selangor’s Muslim laws do not apply to her as she was born an illegitimate child to her Muslim father and late Buddhist mother. Rosliza argued that the English common law and Muslim laws’ position is that the natural father would have no rights over an illegitimate child, while only the natural mother would have rights over the child.

Since Rosliza’s natural mother had guardianship rights over her including deciding her religious upbringing, she is arguing that her religion should follow her mother’s wishes for her to be a Buddhist, and she should be subject to civil laws instead of Shariah laws. Read more