Review communications law

ACCESS to The Malaysian Insider (TMI) has been denied under section 263 (2) of the Communica­tions and Multimedia Act 1998 as it allegedly violates section 233 of the same law (from the notice as attached):

“233. (1) A person who — (a) by means of any network facilities or network service or applications service knowingly –

(i) makes, creates or solicits; and (ii) initiates the transmission of, any comment, request, suggestion or other communication which is obscene, indecent, false, menacing or offensive in character with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass another person; or

(b) initiates a communication using any applications service, whether continuously, repeatedly or otherwise, during which communication may or may not ensue, with or without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any person at any number or electronic address, commits an offence.

(2) A person who knowingly – (a) by means of a network service or applications service provides any obscene communication for commercial purposes to any person; or (b) permits a network service or applications service under the person’s control to be used for an activity described in paragraph (a), commits an offence.

There is no mention whatsoever in the notice of the facts or proof or details of the breach of section 233 to show an offence was committed by TMI.

The law needs to be clarified.

There is also no reference in section 263 (2) that gives the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) the power to block access to an online news portal or website whilst investigation is being done.

There is also a grey area in the law about who has the power to order that access be blocked – the Commission or the Communi­ca­tions and Multimedia Minister?

Broad interpretation or lack of specific interpretation may lead to injustice or abuse by MCMC.

There is no charge by prosecution (as of now). MCMC should have applied to Court for an order to block access or an injunction instead.

The law is unjust and can be easily abused by the relevant authority. The above provisions should be amended or repealed.

ANDY YONG

Deputy National Youth Chief,

Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia




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