Friday 1 June 2012

Civil society protests move to clamp Internet

Civil society groups are ramping up pressure against amendments to the Evidence Act with the launch of an online petition yesterday.

NONE"We, netizens who value Internet freedom, call on the Malaysian government to withdraw the Evidence (Amendment) (No 2) Act 2012," reads the petition put up by the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ), which today afternoon already had about 1,000 "likes".

However, the NGO's Facebook campaign was less successful, with only about 200 "likes".

Several other NGOs have already expressed misgivings about the amendment, including Centre for Policy Initiatives director Lim Teck Ghee.

The Amendment (No 2) is to insert a Section 114A into the Evidence Act 1950, under the sub-heading "Presumption of fact in publication".

This will presume that the owner, editor or administrator of a website where a publication is posted, or the owner of the Internet connection or equipment with which the posting was made, is also the person who made the posting, unless it is proven otherwise.

NONE"We like it that we can express ourselves freely on the Internet.

"However, this new section will cause fears among people posting legitimate opinions on current issues for the fear of being not only liable on their own, but also being responsible for other people's postings on their platforms," CIJ director Masjaliza Hamzah said when contacted.

Masjaliza also criticised the law for being passed hurriedly, without public consultation and with little time for it to be discussed.

The former journalist said the CIJ petition would be submitted to de facto law minister Nazri Abdul Aziz, but when this will is done is yet to be confirmed.

Amendments to the Evidence Act were passed by both Houses during the last parliamentary session, but Amendment (No 2) is yet to be gazetted into law.

The Evidence (Amendment) Act 2012 went into operation today, causing fears among some netizens that they should start keeping a close eye on their website comment boxes.

However, the Amendment (No 2) has not yet been included in the amended Act, which came into force today.


  1. Such laws only going to benefit those in illegal power rigged / allowed by the Election Commission in many past general elections.

    all evidence are there in my High Court cases on GE2004 and GE2008, just goggle them.

    What is the illegal Government trying to cover up themselves?

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