Penang DAP Socialist Youth, in a press statement issued today, join in with the others to fully support the ‘Stop 114a – Internet Blackout’ campaign, launched by the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ).
On May 9 2012, the Evidence (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 2012 was passed in the Dewan Negara and gazette by the de facto law minister last month.
CIJ launched a campaign, whereby internet users are invited to ‘black out’ their sites for 24 hrs on 14 Aug.
Section 114a deals with allegedly illicit or harmful content on the internet.
Briefly, this amendment enables law enforcement officials to hold someone accountable for publishing seditions, defamatory or libelous content online.
According to Penang DAPSY, this Act serve to further clamps down on the dissenting views of the public, and it will only further strengthen Umno’s hegemony on silencing its critics.
DAPSY said that under Section 114a, internet users may be held accountable for any comments or content deemed slanderous or offensive published through their internet connection even though it was published by somebody else without their consent.
This will not help to solve cybercrimes, instead it will cause internet subscribers to become victims of online identity theft, slander and worst of all, political victims for voicing their opposing views against the government.
“DAPSY Penang is of the opinion that Section 114a violates the Malaysian Constitution, especially Artilce 10, in which it allows for the freedom of speech and opinion.” said Steven Sim, DAPSY publicity secretary.
“This Act restrict the rights of free speech with the imposition of such unreasonable rules on the public,” he reiterated.
“Section 114a also violates the principle that the defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty. The burden of proof will be placed on the defendant.”
DAPSY Penang felt that this action of the Federal government will not only hinder democracy in the country, but will also bring harm to the economy.
In this cyber age, where information is easily shared – fast and on a big scale, the BN led government’s action to ‘chain’ legal internet users, will cause investors to lose confidence in Malaysia.
This iron-grip rule will also hinder the progress of the sharing of views and knowledge on the internet.
In comparing the Penang government to the Federal government, DAPSY Penang informed that the Penang government has hold on to its ‘right to information’ principle through its Freedom of Information Act, while the Federal government is seen as fearful of dissenting views.
DAPSY Penang is not surprised because UMNO-BN had for a long time show that it is politically bankrupt.
DAPSY Penang calls on the Federal government to repeal Section 114a.