Author: danyogafit

GVA: Defamation & the Malaysian Blogger

Local newspapers report a little bump in Muhammad Shafee Abdullah’s defamation proceedings against Raja Petra Kamaruddin (RPK), when the High Court today ordered Shafee to appoint a lawyer. RPK’s lawyer, Manjeet Singh, had pointed out that Shafee may not represent himself in a case in which he has reason to believe that he will be called on as a witness in the hearing.

Yet, this is a tiny delay in the overall defamation highway along Malaysia’s cyber plains. In 2008 alone, three high profile defamation cases have hit the headlines, two of which involve RPK, the other involving Ahmad Lufty Othman of detikdaily.

GVA: Whose decision to block Malaysia Today?

Amidst uproar from Malaysian netizens, today’s announcement by the Energy, Water & Communications Minister, Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansur, has put a new kink in the plot. Datuk Shaziman was reported to have said that the government had not ordered the Malaysian Today website to be banned.

According to news reports, Datuk Shaziman stated that the government only gave “general instruction” to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to allow all blogs and websites to function provided they adhered to provisions under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998. In the same report, Datuk Shaziman confirmed the commission’s independence, and that he “was told” by the commission that they intended to block the news portal under the provisions of s. 263 of the Act.

Index on censorship: Watchdog would free web?

The establishment of an independent press council may help protect journalists and Internet activists like Raja Petra Kamarudin, writes Daniel Chandranayagam Tan is a young Malaysian, newly employed in the private sector. Like many Malaysians his age, Tan is a product of the Mahathir era, having heeded the call to get a degree, and help Malaysia develop into […]

GVA: Plans for actions against bloggers

Despite jubilation over the Opposition’s win in the 26th August by-elections, political bloggers in Malaysia face the sobering prospect of the government taking tougher action against blog and website owners.

Online news has reported that the government is serious in countering online allegations against them by taking alleged wrongdoers to court for defamation and sedition. This decision was said to have been reached during a meeting last week involving several Cabinet ministers and senior government officials, including Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

GVA: Blogs fly flags upside-down

Since August 3rd, some Malaysian blogs have featured the national flag (or “Jalur Gemilang“) posted upside-down as a sign of a nation in distress. The call was said to be have been made by blogger Sheih aka ‘kickdefella‘ from the country’s east coast, a call which many bloggers have taken to. Some bloggers have deigned to show disrespect to the flag, although they have posted the ruling party’s flag upside down on their blog.

GVA: Deface If You Dare

How do you draw the public’s attention away from online media?

The answer is not to detain another blogger for sedition.

Malaysian bloggers were up in arms again when blogger Bakaq aka ‘Penarik Beca’ was detained for sedition recently. Bakaq, whose real name is Abdul Rashi Abu Bakar, was detained (and since released) for defacing the Royal Malaysian Police crest by allegedly substituting the tiger in the emblem with a dog.

GVA: What exactly is sedition?

It has been a tumultuous time for blogging and online expression in Malaysia. With the ongoing court cases with blogger and online news portal editor, Raja Petra Kamaruddin, as well as the detention of Malay language blogger, Abdul Bakar aka ‘Penarik Beca’, it is with little surprise that it has been reported that Malaysian foreign Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, called for the creation of a council or other form of mechanism to monitor bloggers.