Malaysia law review after web protest

2012-08-14 18:36
Fireworks explode near Malaysia's landmark Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur. (Saeed Khan, AFP)

Fireworks explode near Malaysia's landmark Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur. (Saeed Khan, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia's prime minister said he would review a legal amendment that critics claim threatens free expression online after they staged a one-day "internet blackout" on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Najib Razak, facing mounting pressure ahead of looming elections, said on Twitter that he had asked the cabinet to discuss the controversial new section of the Evidence Act.

"Whatever we do we must put people first," he tweeted late on Tuesday.

NGOs, bloggers and opposition politicians staged the protest earlier in the day by replacing their homepages with black screens featuring messages attacking the amendment, which went into effect in April despite widespread opposition.

Critics say under the amendment any web host, provider of a wifi network, or ordinary user of a computer or mobile device can be found liable for any defamatory or harmful content sent via its systems.

Activists have called it an attempt by the ruling coalition government, which has been in power for more than five decades, to clamp down on the internet.

Najib, who recently pledged to uphold a promise not to curb the web, must call elections by next year against a formidable opposition that gets most of its message out via the internet due to a government stranglehold on traditional media.

The government promised in the 1990s not to censor the internet in a bid to draw in foreign high-tech investment, although authorities are accused of blocking some sites.

Bad law

The protest effort has been spearheaded by Malaysia's Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ), which calls the amendment "a bad law passed in haste and does not take into account public interest and participation".

The CIJ and other critics - which have included some figures in the ruling coalition - have called for it to be scrapped or revised.

The 24-hour blackout was to last until midnight.

Users attempting to access Paultan.org, a highly popular automotive-themed blog, were greeted with a black pop-up screen early on Tuesday that said "This is what the web could look like" under the legal change.

Malaysia has long been known for its authoritarian rule but Najib, who came to power in 2009, has launched a campaign to repeal some repressive laws to gain voter support.

However, the opposition and rights groups have dismissed the drive as a sham, saying that various laws introduced to replace the previous legislation have been little better than the old statutes.

Read more on:    malaysia  |  internet  |  online security
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Cape Town - 09:24 AM
    Road name: Koeberg Road Southbound
    DELAYS through Brooklyn towards the N1 Highway
  • Wednesday Cape Town - 09:21 AM
    Road name: N2 Inbound
    Earlier ACCIDENT before Hospital Bend has been moved to the side of the carriageway - HEAVY DELAYS from Duinefontein Road
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia E7

Your mobile office Real-time emails with Mail for Exchange. Easy access to...

From R3499.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself fascinated by something which could draw you in to obsessively exploring this subject in depth....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.