Malaysia: Good news, garnished with salt

In light of the its aim to encourage the people to use the internet as a means of disseminating information, the Malaysian government has restored access to the Malaysia Today news portal, together with the other sites which have been blocked since January 2008.

Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor

According to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), more than 100 websites have been blocked since January 2008 because their content insults religions or cheats consumers, which infringes the MCMC’s regulations.

However, Energy, Water & Communications Minister, Shaziman Abu Mansor (pic right), was reported to have revealed that, although the government feels that existing laws were sufficient to handle Malaysian misconduct on the internet, swifter enforcement is necessary. Apparently, a committee comprising representatives from the MCMC, the police, the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the Home Ministry, is planned to be established to monitor websites, especially those reputed for alleged seditious or racially sensitive content. He said,

In the United States, if a website publishes actionable content, within minutes the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) would come in and seize all equipment to secure evidence. Maybe we can move towards that direction,

According to reports, Shaziman said the cabinet has asked the Attorney-General’s Chambers to speed up the prosecution against website operators, whose website contents are allegedly seditious, or incite racial hatred or insult any religion, if there is sufficient evidence to do so.

On the other hand, the authorities have not been remiss in taking action against online journalists. For example, Malaysiakini, Malaysia’s oldest online alternative news repository, has been raided a number of times during the course of the last decade.

Click here for a list of action against the media, both online and off, in 2006.

9 comments

  • […] « Malaysia: Good news, garnished with salt […]

  • […] Just as the MCMC unblocks “Malaysia Today”, Raja Petra Kamaruddin’s controversial news portal, Malaysiakini reports that Raja Petra (or RPK) (pic below) has been arrested under the Internal Security Act 1960 (ISA). RPK’s wife, Marina Lee Abdullah, was reported to have said that he was arrested at 1310 on 12th September 2008, with 10 police personnel in attendance at RPK’s home. According to Malaysiakini, RPK was arrested under s. 73(1) of the Act, allegedly for being a threat to security, peace and public order. […]

  • […] Malaysia: Good news, garnished with salt […]

  • malsia

    The Malaysian Government is losing credibility. Soon, people will not believe anything positive about the government. ISA cannot be used as an excuse to protect the safety of the detainee. Government seems so desperate to cling on to power.

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  • […] Just as the MCMC unblocks “Malaysia Today”, Raja Petra Kamaruddin’s controversial news portal, Malaysiakini reports that Raja Petra (or RPK) (pic below) has been arrested under the Internal Security Act 1960 (ISA). RPK’s wife, Marina Lee Abdullah, was reported to have said that he was arrested at 1310 on 12th September 2008, with 10 police personnel in attendance at RPK’s home. According to Malaysiakini, RPK was arrested under s. 73(1) of the Act, allegedly for being a threat to security, peace and public order. […]

  • […] Just as the MCMC unblocks “Malaysia Today”, Raja Petra Kamaruddin’s controversial news portal, Malaysiakini reports that Raja Petra (or RPK) (pic below) has been arrested under the Internal Security Act 1960 (ISA). RPK’s wife, Marina Lee Abdullah, was reported to have said that he was arrested at 1310 on 12th September 2008, with 10 police personnel in attendance at RPK’s home. According to Malaysiakini, RPK was arrested under s. 73(1) of the Act, allegedly for being a threat to security, peace and public order. […]

  • […] For more, click here. […]

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