Govt revising Communications Act to tackle fake news

Source: FMT News

Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission says Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 is being revised to incorporate new elements. Pic from FMT News.

Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission says Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 is being revised to incorporate new elements. Pic from FMT News.

KUCHING: The Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 is being revised to include new elements to tackle such things as the dissemination of fake news on social media.

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) in a written response to The Borneo Post said, “The act is currently being revised to incorporate new elements, including network security matters.”

The report, however, did not give details of the new elements that are to be incorporated or how these will impact internet users.

MCMC told The Borneo Post it had carried out various awareness and advocacy programmes aimed at different segments of the public. Read more

American Bar wants Putrajaya to reconsider changes to LPA

Source: FMT News

It wants the Malaysian government to meet the Malaysian Bar to get feedback and ensure the independence of the legal profession. Pic taken from FMT News.

It wants the Malaysian government to meet the Malaysian Bar to get feedback and ensure the independence of the legal profession. Pic taken from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: The American Bar Association has written to the Malaysian prime minister to voice its opposition to a proposal to appoint two government nominees to the Bar Council.

Its president Linda Klein in a letter to Najib Razak last week, said there was no justification for mandating government appointments.

“It is unclear what legitimate purpose the government is seeking to fulfill, by mandating government appointment of bar leadership,” she said in the letter dated Sept 23.

The letter has since been published on the Malaysian Bar website.

She said such appointments would inherently undermine the independence of the Bar.

“The proposed law would therefore create an unjustified infringement upon the right of association of members of the legal profession as enshrined in the Malaysian Constitution, international law and required by the UN Basic Principles,” she said. Read more

Cyber laws to be reviewed to curb IT, social media abuse: Azalina

Source: NST Online

File pic taken from NST Online

File pic taken from NST Online

KUALA LUMPUR: The country’s cyber laws will be studied and enhanced to prevent abuse of information technology (IT) and social media, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.

She said the move was necessary based on developments today which saw the influence of social media playing a major role in the lives of the people. “It cannot be denied the benefits of social media as an easy, quick and cheap agent of communication.

But, the trend of cyber attacks as well as abuse of social media is seen as getting rampant,” she told a media conference after attending the 2016 Student Parliamentary Session lunch here today.

She said certain parties were abusing social media with the aim to commit fraud, recruit terrorists and plant hatred against the government as well as disrupting national harmony.

Azalina stressed that the government did not intend to curtail the freedom to voice and the right to use cyber space, but studies on the legal cyber limits needed to be made to protect users from becoming victims.

“The review is aimed at looking at the balancing point between a user’s freedom and responsibility,” she said.

Azalina was earlier reported as saying a special cyber court to try crimes under cyber laws was expected to be operational in Kuala Lumpur next month, followed by Selangor and Johor. Read more

LPA amendments an open attack on independence of M’sian Bar

Source: Malaysiakini

Pic taken from FMT News

Pic taken from FMT News

21 July, 2016. Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM) and the following civil society organisations are gravely concerned with the decision of the government to make several amendments to the 1976 Legal Profession Act (LPA). Such amendments are open attacks on the independence of the Malaysian Bar and blatant violations of the right to freedom of association as guaranteed in the Federal Constitution.

It sets a dangerous precedent of government interference in the operations of independent statutory bodies and civil society organisations. We urge the government to withdraw such proposals immediately.

The amendments, due to be tabled in parliament in October 2016, empowers the government to abolish the current direct elections of 12 members of the Bar Council through postal votes and replace it with elections at the state level, the appointment of two representatives by the minister in charge of legal affairs to sit in the Bar Council and to increase the quorum of the annual general meeting of the Malaysian Bar from 500 to 4,000 members.

The government purportedly made the amendments to improve transparency and representation of the Bar Council, when in reality, it does the exact opposite. Read more

Malaysian Internet Censorship is Going from Bad to Worse — EFF

Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation

Following our previous articles about increasing political censorship of the Internet in Malaysia, things have quickly gone from bad to worse. In fact since July 2015, the Malaysian government has blocked at least ten websites, including online news portals and private blogs, for reporting about the scandal surrounding Malaysian Prime Minister Najib tun Razak over his mysterious private dealings with $700 million in funds.

Among the latest developments include the state’s blocking of online news portal, The Malaysian Insider, due to their reporting on the scandal—a blatant act of press censorship which drew official comment from the U.S. Department of State. Local activist Fahmi Reza has also come under investigation for his parody clown images depicting the Prime Minister posted to his Twitter account.

And the Malaysian government still clamors for more censorship authority, adding to its existing broad powers under the Penal Code and the Sedition Act. Currently, the government is planning to table the amendments to both the Official Secret Act (OSA) and the Communication & Multimedia Act (CMA) during its upcoming March or May Parliamentary sessions, to strengthen its control over content providers, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and end users. Read more

Peguam Negara beri jaminan pindaan OSA tidak sekat wartawan

Sumber: The Malaysian Outsider

Peguam Negara Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali memberi jaminan hari ini pindaan Akta Rahsia Rasmi (OSA) 1972 tidak akan digunakan untuk menyekat wartawan daripada menyampaikan berita kepada orang ramai.

Apandi menegaskan wartawan tidak akan disekat daripada membuat sebarang laporan tetapi mesti berasaskan fakta yang sahih dan mengikut etika kewartawanan.

“Saya juga ingin menjelaskan, tidak menyekat kebebasan wartawan menulis laporan mengikut fakta yang sahih serta etika kewartawanan.

“Sehubungan itu, semua wartawan tidak perlu bimbang mengenai cadangan pindaan ini kerana ia tidak menjejaskan profesion wartawan dalam menyampaikan maklumat kepada kerajaan dan rakyat,” katanya.

Beliau dipetik berkata demikian dalam satu kenyataan dikeluarkan Exco Kesatuan Wartawan Kebangsaan Malaysia (NUJM) hari ini. Read more