Rights lawyer urges IGP to halt investigation against Kadir

Source: The Malay Mail

Kadir previously disclosed that the government spent RM257 million for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s expenditure over 16 months. — Bernama pic

PETALING JAYA, June 7 — Police should not investigate Datuk A. Kadir Jasin for sedition and other “oppressive” laws that the government has said will be repealed, said lawyer Latheefa Koya.

Responding to Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun’s disclosure that investigations against Kadir were initiated under the Sedition Act, the Communications and Multimedia Act, and the Penal Code, she said the police must act consistently with the government’s reform agenda.

“The IGP must realise that Malaysia is no longer governed by the oppressive BN regime which had previously persecuted the people for merely exercising their right to free speech.

“Whoever is affected by Kadir’s article should respond in a civilised manner and not resort to lodging police reports. It is also possible for these parties to file civil defamation suits but there is certainly nothing criminal in what he had written,” she said.

Kadir previously disclosed that the government spent RM257 million for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s expenditure over 16 months.

He wrote another entry today defending his earlier post, telling critics he only meant to show how royals need no assurances beyond what the Federal Constitution provides.

Legal experts raise alarm bells over Fahmi’s conviction

Source: The Malaysian Insight

Legal experts say graphic designer Fahmi Reza’s sentence to one month in jail and a fine of RM30,000 for insulting Prime Minister Najib Razak with a clown face caricature posted on Facebook was undemocratic and unacceptable. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, February 20, 2018.

ABSURD, undemocratic and totally unacceptable.

These were the general consensus among legal experts on the one month jail sentence and a hefty fine imposed on graphic designer Fahmi Reza by the Ipoh Sessions Court today for posting an edited image of Prime Minister Najib Razak on Facebook.

The court decision raised alarm bells, with one law expert questioning if Malaysia was emulating Thailand where punitive measures are taken against those who criticised the country’s monarch.

Universiti Malaya law lecturer Azmi Sharom said if laws were used selectively to protect one individual or a special group from legitimate criticism, it echoes of “lese majeste” (insulting the monarch or other ruler).

Thailand has a strict draconian lese-majeste law which forbids any insult to the monarchy.

Azmi said the decision against Fahmi also placed restrictions on the freedom of speech and made it an offence if anyone poked fun at a politician. Read more

Fahmi Reza jailed one month, fined RM30,000 over offensive caricature of PM

Source: The Star Online

Pic drawn from The Star Online

Fahmi Reza — Pic drawn from The Star Online

IPOH: Activist and graphic designer Fahmi Reza (pic) has been sentenced to one month’s jail and fined RM30,000 for posting a caricature of a national leader on social media.

Fahmi, 40, whose full name is Mohd Fahmi Reza Mohd Zarin, was found guilty by the Sessions Court here Tuesday (Feb 20) of uploading an edited image of the Prime Minister on Facebook with the intention to offend.

He was charged with committing the offence on Feb 8, 2016 at 12.31pm.

Mohd Fahmi was charged under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, which is punishable under Section 233(3) of the same Act.

Judge Norashima Khalid also ordered the accused to be jailed an additional six months if he fails to pay the fine. Read more

When everything’s fake news except when you agree — Erna Mahyuni

Source: Malay Mail Online

By Erna Mahyuni

FEBRUARY 14 ― “Fake news.” What a catchphrase. Thanks to Donald Trump, it no longer means “news that is inaccurate” but “news that clashes with my currently held views.”

It’s interesting that the government is currently looking at legal recourse to supposedly combat fake news but the question remains: who really decides what is fake and what is real?

The thing about news reporting is that it is supposed to be impartial, objective.

Trouble is, humans are not really wired to be without bias.

Read more

Fake news law ‘will curb media freedom’

Source: The Malaysian Insight

MALAYSIA’S proposed fake news law will be used to target non-mainstream media outlets that publish reports not in line with Putrajaya’s views, a lawyer and media groups fear.

Lawyer H.R. Dipendra said the government was using the excuse of fake news to go after Internet news portals that are not governed by the Printing Presses and Publications Act.

“The government wants to target alternative media, like news portals. It is their intention of controlling news portals under the guise of (a) fake news (law).

“It is real news, but it is not always siding or agreeing with the government, (and) that they want to control (it),” he told The Malaysian Insight today.

Read more

Curbing ‘fake news’ can’t be one-way street — Mustafa K. Anuar

Source: The Malaysian Insight 

By Mustafa K. Anuar

THE professed assurance by a bevy of ministers in the Najib administration recently that a proposed law to arrest “fake news” is meant to protect “political stability and public order” as well as the freedom of expression for all Malaysians has already evoked scepticism, if not cynicism, among a concerned public and government critics.

While one may genuinely be concerned about the supposed proliferation of “fake news”, such an assurance, however, becomes hollow coming from members of a government (and its ancillary agencies) that is known to have committed censorship of cavalier nature, produced half-truths and manufactured information to serve their vested interests.

This phenomenon especially became writ large in general elections of yore, and the next one will be no different. If anything, half-truths and lies are likely to reign supreme in this supposedly “mother of elections” that involve all players from both sides of the political divide.

Read more

Man fined RM20,000 for insulting PM, A-G on social media

Source: The Malaysian Insight

A BUSINESSMAN was fined a total of RM20,000 by the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court today after pleading guilty to four counts of uploading offensive communication contents on Prime Minister Najib Razak and Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali on his Facebook page two years ago.

Azhar Mamat, 45, made the plea after the charges were read out to him before judge Zaman Mohd Noor.

He was fined RM5,000, in default of a month’s jail, on each count. Azhar paid the fine.

Read more

Zaid turns to courts for remedy over ban of his book

Source: Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: Zaid Ibrahim has filed a judicial review to quash a recent ban on his book which has been in circulation for about two years.

The former de facto law minister said the book titled “Assalamualaikum (Peace Be Upon You): Observation on the Islamisation of Malaysia” did not cause any prejudice or likelihood of prejudice to public or national interests.

He said the order was also a breach of his constitutional right under Article 10 (1) of the Federal Constitution which guaranteed freedom of speech and expression.

Read more

Woman remanded for insulting Terengganu MB on Facebook

Source: The Star

KUALA TERENGGANU: A woman was arrested after she allegedly insulted Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman on social media.

It is learned that the 45-year-old contractor had put up the derogatory comment on a Facebook Group called Gabungan Anak Terengganu.

Read more

Reminder not to support opposition was ‘fatherly advice’, says Mahdzir’s press team

Source: The Malaysian Insight

Mahdzir Khalid

Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid was ‘only advising you not to make statements that could negatively affect your future’. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, January 20, 2018.

EDUCATION Minister Mahdzir Khalid was giving “fatherly advice” when he reminded teachers and education officers not to support the opposition, the minister’s press team said on Twitter.

“What he said was like the advice that a father would give his children and not as the media have made it out to be in news that have gone viral,” the Education Ministry’s Media and Communications Office posted on Twitter late last night.

“He advises everyone, especially the civil servants, to be wise when making decisions and when issuing statements against the government, because they serve the government for the sake of the people.

“The statements you make can undermine your (civil servants) position in the public sector. Hence, he was only advising you not to make statements that could negatively affect your future. Thank you.”

The tweets were accompanied by a report of Mahdzir being quoted by Chinese daily Kwong Wah telling teachers that disciplinary action would be taken against them if they backed the opposition.

He said civil servants, including education department officers and teachers, were barred from joining any opposition party or criticising the government as these were tantamount to sabotaging the government and tarnishing its image.

Mahdzir, who was delivering the ministry’s new year message at an event in Putrajaya, was quoted telling teachers who were guilty of such acts to resign before the ministry asked them to do so.

It was all right, however, if the teachers were to join any of the ruling political parties, he said.

Read more