Thursday, August 24, 2006

The freedom to blog

Deputy Energy, Water & Communications Minister Shaziman Abu Mansor admitted that it was difficult for the government to regulate internet users because "they can easily register in other countries."

He also said it was up to bloggers to use their own discretion when disseminating information on the internet.

For the record, in year 2001 laws were being drafted to enable the government to act against internet "abusers". The proposed laws was to make websites accountable for what they write. In 2001, there were only a handful of blogs and the target then was malaysiakini.com and pro-DSAI websites.

The government knew that under the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 it is unable to take action against "internet offenders" as the act does not embody such postings. There is no law that would make it an offence for anyone to post "abusive articles" on the internet.

Later, the government realised that one of the problems faced in drafting the laws is identifying the source of the postings on the internet, especially if the messages originate from overseas.

Malaysian journalists and bloggers, mostly retired or semi-retired journalists, are governed by several laws such as the Defamation Act, Sedition Act, Printing Presses and Publications Act, Contract Act, Internal Security Act and Section 298A of the Penal Code.

Most of us are "gentleman bloggers" and we do not use the internet to spread lies and we do not disseminate falsehoods or news aimed at creating disunity via the internet.

There is no need for comprehensive laws to regulate internet users. We value our freedom to blog.

4 comments:

thquah said...

Good read for me.Penang Boleh!!!!

A Voice said...

If PM said those bloggers are not credible, why are the newspaper sales lower than visits to bloggers and alternative media?

matkop said...

yes brader, you kena hebuhkan blog u ni. worth reading blog la brader.

Syed Imran said...

Sama-samalah kita hebohkan.

Thank you thquah, thank you a voice (it is sadly a reality) and thank you matkop.