Wednesday 15 August 2012

Cabinet did not seek review of Section 114A

Cabinet has not called for a review of Section 114A of the Evidence Act 1950, according to a report on Sin Chew Daily's website.

The report, quoting an anonymous source, said cabinet was of the opinion that critics had misinterpreted the law and took it out of context.

According to the source, the government needed Section 114A to combat terrorism and cybercrimes in view of the repeal of the Internal Security Act (ISA) and other preventive detention laws.

The source said Section 114A was never meant to curb online freedom nor punish Internet users.

When contacted, de facto Law Minister Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz declined comment.

The cabinet meeting today was chaired today by Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, as Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is overseas.

Yesterday, Najib had ordered cabinet to "discuss" Section 114A after thousands of Malaysian Internet users participated in the Internet Blackout Day campaign.
AG against review

Initiated by Centre of Independent Journalism, the campaign claimed that the law is flawed because it exposes Internet users to being presumed guilty until proven innocent.

Participants, including Malaysiakini, attached a black pop-up on their websites or refrained from posting on social networking services as a sign of protest against the law.

Three BN lawmakers - Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin, Deputy Higher Education Minister Saifuddin Abdullah and Deputy Youth and Sports  Minister Gan Ping Sieu - have voiced concern over the law.
Gerakan deputy president Chang Ko Youn also issued a statement today, voicing support for a review of Section 114A. 

However, Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail told Malay Mail that the law will not be changed.
The law was passed by Parliament earlier this year and gazetted in July.

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