KUALA LUMPUR — The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Ministry has sent proposed legal amendments that will force news portals and blogs to register with the government to the Attorney-General’s (AG) Chambers.
However, Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak said yesterday that his ministry will work to ensure that the amendments do not infringe on the rights of non-political bloggers.
“So we have sent it to the AG to look at the amendments … we are looking at all considerations. But you must remember some blogs are not political, they may be involved in fashion, there are many other blogs,” he said yesterday. “When registering online newspapers, there must be set criteria … We have to see if it will burden the ordinary citizen, because sometimes they have a blog of their own, we have to take it into consideration.”
He said requiring news portals to register with the government was not intended to quell dissent, but part of Putrajaya’s bid to ensure that existing laws are current with the times.
“What we want to educate the public is to please use the Internet to uplift the economy not to increase your social networking. There’s freedom of speech but no freedom to destroy the nation,” he added.
Last week, Malay Mail Online reported Malaysian Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed as saying Putrajaya has begun preliminary discussions on possibly making news portals and blogs register with the government, as part of the move to regulate online news outlets in the same manner as print media.
Journalists with online news outlets must already register with Putrajaya in order to cover official events, although the organisations themselves are not currently subject to specific rules or regulations beyond those applicable to the general public.
News about the government’s plan for compulsory registration for online publications first emerged when Mr Nur Jazlan said the Home Ministry wanted bloggers to register with the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission in order for authorities to be able to monitor comments and articles which are defamatory in nature.
The proposal would be a further step back from Putrajaya’s original pledge to leave Internet access in Malaysia uncensored, which it made in the 1990s. The guarantee has since been broken and the government sporadically blocks sites deemed unsuitable, such as pornographic sites, or those considered to have violated local laws. THE MALAY MAIL ONLINE
p palang s : Lepas ni tak tau la apa lak kena register