Archive for the 'Media freedom' 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 ( 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,, nexusmediaworks and MOL. From the online resources & community sector,, LoyarBurok, mobile88, jbtalks and

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

2. the Facebook page

3. Stop 114A’s Twibbon page for Twitter:

4. Stop 114A’s Twibbon page for Facebook:

For additional information, please contact CIJ via e-mail at 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.

Radio, TV warned not to mention B…..

(Photo credit:

According to a report from The Malaysian Insider today, Malaysia’s private broadcasters were warned not to mention (read: censor) about the planned Bersih 2.0 rally, but at the same time they should warn ordinary Malaysians not to take to the streets.

In other words, increase the reality gap in the mainstream media.

Saying sorry till you’re blue in the face

It appears that Malaysia never ceases to amaze ordinary Malaysians and the world community.

This time around it involves a social activist, Fahmi Fadzil, who tweeted in January about a pregnant friend who claimed to have been treated badly by her magazine company. Fahmi subsequently apologised to the big media company over his tweet for the inconveniences caused to the latter.

But it looks like sorry seems to be the hardest word for the media company, which then demanded — as a compromise settlement — that Fahmi to tweet the apology 100 times for three days!

Below is a report from Singapore’s Straits Times. Also see this.

KUALA LUMPUR – A MALAYSIAN social activist said on Thursday he will post an apology on Twitter 100 times over the next three days in a novel settlement to a defamation row.

Fahmi Fadzil said he tweeted in January that a pregnant friend of his had been treated badly by her employers at Female Magazine, owned by Blu Inc Media.

The magazine’s lawyers threatened legal action and a settlement was reached in March, taking the resolution to the Internet because Fahmi could not afford to take out newspaper advertisements.

‘The only demand is to tweet the apology 100 times for three days, and that will be the final and full settlement of this,’ Fahmi told AFP.

He began tweeting ‘I’ve DEFAMED Blu Inc Media & Female Magazine. My tweets on their HR Policies are untrue. I retract those words & hereby apologize’ on Thursday morning.

‘Under the settlement, I have been ordered to tweet the apology over the next three days and that works out to about one apology tweet every 35 minutes, and I will finish the tweets by 6.45pm on Saturday,’ he said.

‘So far, I have finished 13 tweets and have 87 more to go,’ he added. — AFP

Forum on ethnicity and the media in Penang

Of late, ethnicity (and also religion) has taken centre stage in many sections of the mainstream media, with a few of the media organisations carrying the kind of reporting that only causes uneasiness, to say the least, among members of Malaysia’s multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural society.

It is therefore most appropriate and timely that the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ), along with Suaram Penang and PEWAJU (Pertubuhan Wartawan dan Jurugambar Akhbar Cina Pulau Pinang), is organising a public forum on the portrayal of ethnicity in the media, which will be held today at 8.30 pm at Han Chiang College.

The panellists are:

1. Mr. Ha’ta Wahari (NUJ President and former Utusan journalist)
2. Mr. Himanshu Bhatt (senior Penang-based journalist)
3. Dr Carmen Nge (academic and ethnicity trainer)

SOS! Save MerdekaReview!

Save Merdeka Review!! ONLY 11 days to go!!

by Merdeka Review Fans Club on Thursday, 19 May 2011 at 12:44

The funder(s) of Merdeka decided that they no longer want to fund Merdeka, we can only sustain until end of May, which means we have ONLY 11 days to go. You can decide whether we can stay on by donate to us NOW!!

For the past 5 years, Merdeka team had build up this news portal from scratch, with an simple idea to provide alternative news to our fellow Malaysians and push for a more democratic Malaysia.

Merdeka began its operation since August 2005, to serve breaking news and in depth news analysis focusing on national and economic issues to our reader. Merdeka reports extensively on politics, public policy, judiciary, human rights, religion, environment and health issues, and make the marginalized group’s voice heard.

We set up our BM version since July 2009 to bridge the gap between Chinese speaking society and malay speaking society, to promote integration of both societies.

Our readership increase exponentially for the past few years, and our advertisement income increase for the past one year. Just when we are preparing for the General Election coverage, we were blown by this sudden change of incident.

In order to maintain our operation, we need RM 60,000 a month, our advertisement income is still fall short. With the funder’s recent decision, we have no choice but to appeal to our reader and friends who love to see a better Malaysia by donating to Merdeka Review.

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Of late, a certain canine feelin’ overwhelms Malaysian politics.

World Press Freedom Day