Thursday, August 13, 2015

Enforcement is key when it comes to the Internet

The following article by Bhag Singh who acted as the solicitor for the working group set up to draft and finalize the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Content Code appeared in The Star newspaper on 13th August 2015. It is reproduced here in its entirety.

image stolen from the net

Compared to several years ago, the public are exposed to more controversies and issues. Whether this is a result of a greater freedom of communications or because more is happening is a matter of conjecture.

Yet, many are indifferent to what is going on. This is because they are completely absorbed in managing their daily lives.

Whatever the outcome and the direction, their lives will continue as they always have and always will.

But if some of the statements made are to be relied upon, is there a lack of laws?

A reader asks how proposed amendments and changes to the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 and adopting the changes and restrictions placed in other countries could be the possible solution to problems faced.

This requires an understanding of our leaders’ desire for the country not to be left behind in the fast-changing technological era.

This of course involved adopting new technologies and, as with everything else, the advantages and disadvantages that result in any new situation.

There was a time when information could only be conveyed personally. The development of the printing press and then telecommunications and broadcasting changed all this, until we arrived in the age of the Internet.

The Internet is not only about ease of communications.

It can also be an obstacle, as will be experienced by some, if not many, who are trying to cope with the Goods and Services Tax.

When there is a need to reach the Customs Department, one is told to use e-mail, but there is no response within a reasonable time. Phone numbers are provided, but the challenge is to get through to the person on the other side.

The Internet was welcomed with pomp as the country took the lead in the convergence that took place, which resulted in the earlier Broadcasting Act 1988 and the Telecommu­nications Act 1950 being repealed and taken over by the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

There continues to be a misconception that the Communication and Multimedia Act 1998 has changed the law and given the individual the right to say anything with impunity.

Statements made by some people in high places do not help to clarify the situation.

Over lunch at a conference on the subject of Internet laws, a person attending the conference told me, “All my law studies will have been wasted because now the law relating to multimedia has changed everything.”

This misconception is caused, in part, by Section 3(3) of the Act which states that “nothing in this Act shall be construed as permitting the censorship of the Internet”.

Many have wrongly interpreted this to mean that one can say what one likes as long as it is through the Internet. In a way, that interpretation is not entirely wrong. One can say whatever is desired because the prior restraint against publication is removed.

Prior restraint in this connection means the need to submit to censorship or obtain a permit. It does not prevent the publisher of the content from being acted against, penalize or prosecuted if the laws are breached.

Some public statements made seem to suggest that we need to look at British laws.

As an example, Section 127 of Britain’s Communications Act 2003 has been referred to, where it is made an offence to send a ­message that is grossly offensive or of indecent, obscene or menacing character over a public electronic communications network.

However, we already have such laws.

Section 211 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 already makes provisions with regard to prohibition and punishment for publication of such content:

“No content applications service provider, or other person using a content applications service, shall provide content which is indecent, obscene, false, menacing or offensive in character with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any person.”

image stolen from the net

In fact, not only does the Act criminalize such communications, it also provides for self-regulation through the means of an industry-created Content Code, referred to as the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Content Code which was registered with the relevant authorities on Sept 4, 2004.

This self-regulatory code is self-administered by the Communications and Multimedia Content Forum of Malaysia, a body whose existence is provided for and recognized under the Act.

The Code enjoys a legal status under the Act, so long as it is registered with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commissions – which it is.

In addition to what is already provided for under the Act, the Code goes on to provide guidelines on content and deals with aspects such as indecent content, obscene content, violence, menacing content, bad language, false content and other aspects such as ­children’s content and family values among others.

The Code is administered by a body referred to as the Content Forum, also provided for under the Act, which has a Complaints Bureau under it to deal with the complaints made that come within the scope of the Code and contravene its provisions through a variety of ways.

It will therefore be seen that there is already in place a considerable amount of laws and regulation. This is both self-regulatory and otherwise, in the form of the Act and the Content Code, as well as the sub-codes that have been put in place.

Regarding claims about the situation created by the social media, the remedy may well lie with the systematic enforcement of the existing codes and laws rather than continuing to focus on making changes to the existing legislation in the hope that it will provide an easy remedy for what is perceived to be not right.

Spank this lil fella to read the original 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Social Media Is No Kacang Putih Matter

Latest updates:

It's a happy ending one day after Selvajanaki's case was highlighted in the papers. The Ipoh City Council returned the confiscated three-wheeled motorcycle, assisted her in applying for a mobile trader’s licence and gave her two legal locations to trade around the Kampung Simee and Fair Park areas.

You can read more here

Student Nuruddin Abdul Mujid who originally posted the pictures on his fb page, 
has apologized for defaming the Ipoh City Council (MBI) officers, admitting his action was stupid because he did not think about the consequences.

You can read more here
Original Post:
Proving the might of social media, an incident involving kacang putih (also colloquial for “small matter” or “no problem”) got Malaysians all riled up and got the Ipoh Chief Minister (Menteri Besar), Mayor, City Council members and Hospital Board to hastily call a press conference to clarify matters.  

image credit: facebook

The reason? An fb posting which went viral last week showed street trader S. Selvajanaki, 41, bending down outside the Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun in Ipoh with kacang putih scattered on the road. Three council enforcement officers were standing nearby. The uploaded picture gave the impression that the officers were responsible for the act.

College student Nuruddin Abdul Mujid, 19, who uploaded the images, had implied in his post that the City Council was being cruel towards those who were merely trying to earn a living. The pictures of Selvajanaki sitting dejectedly on the curb with her kacang putih spilled on the road were shared on social media and eventually found their way to popular news blog Siakap Keli.

image credit: The Star Online

The picture was captioned by a man named Ahmad Shuaib Ismail who said he was saddened to see the fate of this trader who was not only not allowed to sell her goods but also suffered from her goods being thrown on the road.

“If she has no licence, give her a licence, don’t throw her goods like that,” Ahmad Shuaib Ismail had posted, based on the screenshot.

In the press conference the next day, the Ipoh City Council together with the hospital’s board and Nuruddin, denied the noise on social media alleging its enforcement officers had used high handed tactics on Selvajanaki.

During the press conference Nuruddin gave a different story, saying it was Selvajanaki herself who had thrown the kacang puteh on the road. He added that he was overcome with emotion when he saw her crying.

Ipoh Mayor Datuk Zamri Man said the enforcement officers were sent to the hospital area after the council received complaints from the public. After the incident, he met with the officers concerned and was informed that they did not use any rough tactics when dealing with Selvajanaki.

They had merely stood and watched her as she was carrying out her business in a prohibited area. Datuk Zamri claimed that council officers are trained to solve problems in an amicable manner and not be confrontational.

Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir who was also present at the press conference said such postings could be used by certain groups for their own personal gains, adding it will also create issues related to social and racial sentiments. He asked the council to conduct an investigation to get to the root of the issue.

Ipoh City Council secretary Mohd Zakuan Zakaria said he had asked a city councillor to meet S. Selvajanaki to discuss her situation, adding that they could not let anyone simply trade anywhere, especially in a hospital area.

The hospital’s visitors board chairman Datuk Omar Ahmad said there were many illegal traders in the area.

image credit: The Star Online

Selvajanaki claimed her kacang puteh fell after a scuffle with MBI officers. She clarified it was not the officers who threw her kacang puteh, but claimed that they had indeed been rough and she was only trying to protecting her wares.

Moral of today's story? Check, verify and authenticate before you share posts. Don't be a monkey spreading rumors and false information.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

MACC - The flavor of the weak

We live in strange days indeed. 

The very same people who had no confidence in the MACC during the Teoh Beng Hock and Ahmad Sarbani cases are now singing its praises.

This is what I am talking about

Anyway SDM atended TBH's inquiry and carried the proceedings live via twitter and also this blog.

Here are a few reminder posts:

Thursday, July 30, 2015

BNM Governor Zeti is fine, and working as usual

The Inspector General of Police refuted rumours that Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhbar Aziz (pictures) was investigated for allegedly being involved in a plot to topple the prime minister. — Reuters pic
image credit: Reuters

The following content reproduced entirely from Astro Awani:

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz is healthy and did not suffer from heart attack as rumored.

This was confirmed by an official from BNM Corporate Relations Department when contacted by Astro AWANI.

According to the official, Zeti came to work as usual and was not admitted as rumored.

News portal Malaysia Gazette reported that Zeti did not turn up for work on Monday morning but had came in in the evening.

She was also busy with various internal BNM meetings, further quashing rumors that she was unwell.

Read the original article here

The following content reproduced entirely from the Malay Mail Online:

Rumours that police are investigating Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz for allegedly being involved in a plot to topple the prime minister is untrue, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said today.

Two days ago, the Internet was abuzz with speculation that Zeti and a few other BNM officials were investigated under Section 124 of the Penal Code in a supposed bid to sabotage the government’s special taskforce inquiry on the controversies surrounding Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) brainchild.

“No. She is not being investigated by us,” the Inspector-General of Police told reporters when asked for comment.

Read the original article here

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Bukit Aman on Fire!

Latest update from Bukit Aman Corporate Communications: 

The fire was not inside the office but at the corridor of level 10. Smoke traveled to level 9.

The fire is not as bad as pictured in widely circulated images of the building. The impact was artificially amplified by the spot lights.

Only admin files were damaged by the fire. No investigation files were involved.

The following pictures have been shared with the media to prove that it happened at the corridor and not inside the office:

My original post:

A fire broke out at the Police Headquarters building in Bukit Aman. According to Asst Comm of Police Datin Asmawati Ahmad, head of Corporate Communications, the fire is believed to have originated on levels 9 and 10 of Menara 2, which house the Criminal Investigation and Narcotics departments.

"As with any other fire incidents, bomba will investigate the cause of the fire. Definitely, no conclusion has been reached yet," said Asmawati. No casualties have been reported till n now.

source: the star online
Azizan Ismail, KL Fire and Rescue Department operations director said the 24 firemen who were dispatched to the scene when his department received a call at 7.20pm managed to bring the blaze under control by 7.47pm.

The Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar tweeted that only unimportant documents were destroyed in the fire. He went on to say that the cause of the fire was being investigated.

images sourced from Berita Harian Online

Monday, July 27, 2015


Don't really have the mood to blog today, so here's a hastily put-together graphic for you:

and here's the requisite disclaimer: "Chopped" is an American reality TV series starring host Ted Allen, owned by Food Network. All copyrights and trademarks remain the property of Food Network.

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Edge Owner & Editor Admit ‘misleading’ Justo Over US$2m Payment For Stolen Data

Media tycoon Datuk Tong Kooi Ong and Ho Kay Tat, the editor of The Edge Media Group, publicly confessed today to cheating Xavier Andre Justo over a promised US$2 million (RM7.6 million) payment in return for documents the Swiss man stole from his former employer PetroSaudi International (PSI).
The duo’s admission was published on The Malaysian Insider news portal, which is also under The Edge Media Group.
“Justo is obviously an angry man, and understandably so, as we did not pay him what he wanted.
“Yes, we misled him. But that was the only way to get hold of the evidence to expose how a small group of Malaysians and foreigners cheated the people of Malaysia of US$1.83 billion.
“His statement confirmed what we have said earlier i.e. we never paid anyone,” they said in the article that carried both their bylines.
The above article is reproduced entirely from The Malay Mail. Hit this lil fella to read the original