Archive for the 'Human rights' Category

Internet Blackout Day on 14 Aug 2012

A message from the Centre for Independent Journalism of Malaysia:

Internet Blackout Day on 14 August gaining momentum

Kuala Lumpur — Malaysian civil society’s latest effort in campaigning against the newly introduced Section 114A to the Evidence Act 1950 — Internet Blackout Day – is gaining momentum and has received more endorsements from prominent websites, Netizens and politicians.

Bar Council has confirmed taking down their website (http://www.malaysianbar.org.my/) to support this while the Democratic Action Party (DAP) is shutting down all websites administered by them and will not be updating their Facebook and Twitter accounts all day on 14th August, 2012. Tech-savvy DAP politician Lim Kit Siang and lawyer/avid Twitter user Edmund Bon have both vowed to go offline for 24hours.

Bloggers who have pledged to support a pop-up to promote the Stop 114A campaign include Marina Mahathir, Hishamuddin Rais (Tukar Tiub), Uppercaise, Nat Tan, Niki Cheong, Anil Netto, Juana Jaafar, Sarawak Bloggers, Fahmi Fadzil, myasylum etc.

Internet Blackout Day pop-up is also being supported by news sites Free Malaysia Today, Malaysiakini, Digital News Asia, The Nut Graph, bfm, Merdeka Review, and party organ news sites Harakah Daily and Keadilan Daily. Supporters from commercial/entrepreneurial sector include lelong.com.my, entrepreneurs.my, nexusmediaworks and MOL. From the online resources & community sector, cari.com.myanixekai.com, LoyarBurok, mobile88, jbtalks and edu.joshuatly.com

The pop-up will also appear on these civil society organisation websites: SUARAM, Women’s Aid Organisation, ALIRAN,Kajian Politik untuk Perubahan (KPRU), Research for Social Advancement, Relevant Facts, Sparkling Analysis (REFSA),Sinar Project, SEACeM, Tindak Malaysia, Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF), Lawyers for Liberty, Perak Women for Women, Empower, Women’s Centre For Change, All Women’s Action Society (AWAM), Sisters in Islam (SIS) and more.

On Twitterverse, the campaign is also supported by @sultanmuzaffar – who has 248,119 followers and @klubkiddkl with 223,105 followers.

The Blackout Day has also received international attention — highlighted in tweets by popular whistle-blower WikiLeaks and global digital freedom NGO Access Now.

Scheduled for 14th August, the Internet Blackout Day initiative is aimed to create awareness among Internet users about the negative impact of the amendment on online expression. Malaysia’s first Internet Blackout Day takes its cue from similar efforts in the United States and New Zealand in support of internet

On 14th August, internet users who visit participating websites will see a pop-up window which contains the message of the campaign. In addition, Netizens can change their profile pictures/avatar on Twitter and Facebook to black or use downloadable images provided by CIJ.

Section 114A, otherwise known as Evidence (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 2012, was passed by Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara in April this year and was gazetted on 31st July by de facto law Minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz.

The amendment has raised concerns from many parties such as lawyers, activists and Internet-based businesses. Under Section 114A, an Internet user is deemed the publisher of any online content unless proven otherwise. It also makes individuals and those who administer, operate or provide spaces for online community forums, blogging and hosting services, liable for content published through its services. This presumption of guilt goes against a fundamental principle of justice – innocent until proven guilty – and disproportionately burdens the average person who may not have the resources to defend himself in court.

The amendment’s wide reach will affect all internet users, websites which provide space for online comments, and any business premises which give free Wi-Fi access to their customers.

In addition, the new amendment was passed despite the fact that existing laws — including the Computer Crimes Act 1997, Sedition Act 1948, Defamation Act 1957, and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 — have been used to arrest and charge in court those who commit defamation, criminal defamation, fraud and sedition online.

For more information about the Internet Blackout Day and to take part in the campaign please visit:

1. the official blog at stop114a.wordpress.com

2. the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/evidenceamendmentact.

3. Stop 114A’s Twibbon page for Twitter: http://twibbon.com/join/Stop-114A

4. Stop 114A’s Twibbon page for Facebook: http://twibbon.com/cause/Stop-114A/facebook

For additional information, please contact CIJ via e-mail at cijmalaysia@gmail.com or call us at 03-4023 0772.

Background to the Campaign

The Internet Blackout Day is part of a campaign to call for the withdrawal of the new Section 114A in the Evidence Act 1950, otherwise known as Evidence (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 2012. It began on 31 May, 2012 when CIJ launched an online petition to call on the government to withdraw the Evidence (Amendment) (No. 2) Act. The petition, which received more than 3300 signatures, was handed over to the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department V.K. Liew in Parliament on 26 June, 2012.

CIJ also organized a public forum on 12 June, 2012, entitled ‘Section 114A Evidence Act: Crime-busting or Online Control?’ with a lawyer, an online activist and tech experts discussing about the repercussions of the amendment.

On Aug 11, 2012, CIJ, with National Young Lawyers Committee and Pusat Rakyat LoyarBurok co-hosted a discussion on legal implications of Section 114A with three lawyers and Member of Parliament and Deputy Higher Education Minister Saifuddin Abdullah.

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A radioactive imagination

Set against a backdrop of the current Lynas controversy, this film — which is directed by imaginative Liew Seng Tat — explores grim (and at times, comical) scenarios of a post-apocalyptic Malaysian kampung. An enjoyable and educational flick.

Does anyone know where a good waste site is?

In the wake of the massive anti-Lynas protests nationwide and the consequent assurance from no less than the prime minister himself, four ministries, i.e. Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry, Health Ministry, International Trade and Industry Ministry, and Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, are now looking high and low for a suitable site to dump that infamous waste from the Lynas Corp rare earth refinery.

So much for proper planning for a highly radioactive material!

But alas! Mindful of the prime minister’s assurance that the Lynas project is “scientifically and factually safe”, ordinary Malaysians already have a few proposals, namely Pekan, Putrajaya, Sri Perdana and Koh Tsu Koon’s backyard!

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On the eve of Valentine’s Day when the Malaysian authorities are gearing up to mount a nationwide hunt on “wayward” Muslim couples, ordinary Malaysians were made to understand that there were certain personalities who were apparently embroiled in deceit. Incidentally, tomorrow’s “hunt” is largely to ensure that Muslims, particularly couples, are morally upright.

One instance concerns the case of the Saudi journalist, Hamza Kashgari, who was alleged to have committed blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad and had been deported back from Kuala Lumpur to Saudi Arabia to face the music. Human rights group, Lawyers for Liberty, had asserted that Home Minister Hishamuddin Hussein had lied pertaining to this controversy.

Then there’s the case of two ex’s hitting out at each other. Ex-Prime Minister Mahathir accused the former Chief Justice, Mohd Dzaiddin Abdullah, of lying. The latter claimed that the judiciary became subservient to the Parliament because Mahathir “clipped its wings in the 1980s when he amended Article 121 of the Constitution”.

Of course, we’re not suggesting here that two (or more) lies make a right.

The purpose of education

World renowned MIT Professor Noam Chomsky highlights the importance of helping to develop a questioning and independent mind in a formal education system.

A pin-drop rally

[youtube+http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zLfCnGVeL4]

At the rate things are going (remember the recently imposed 10 conditions like no loudhailers, no banners, no speeches, no noise etc?), it looks like the planned mammoth rally at the Jalan Duta Court complex in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow may well turn into something of a test conducted by the authorities on the crowd’s ability to keep the expected cacophony to the minimum so that one could only hear a pin drop elegantly.

If lucky, the Malaysian authorities in particular and Malaysia in general might just make an entry into the Guinness Book of Records for having achieved the first silent rally in the world, or at least this side of Zimbabwe.

Liar!

Dedicated to people whose sense of truth has become foggy.