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Kampung Compass Points Letters Tolak sekatan Internet; mansuhkan Akta Mesin Cetak dan Penerbitan, Akta Hasutan
Tolak sekatan Internet; mansuhkan Akta Mesin Cetak dan Penerbitan, Akta Hasutan PDF Print E-mail
Written by straits-mongrel   
Tuesday, 01 February 2011 23:24

sabm-jointcsTolak sekatan Internet; mansuhkan Akta Mesin Cetak dan Penerbitan, Akta Hasutan


Kami merupakan kumpulan masyarakat madani yang amat bimbang mengenai niat kerajaan persekutuan untuk menyekat Internet, mengikut laporan akhbar baru-baru ini yang mengungkap pegawai kanan kementerian berkenaan “peraturan hasutan siber” dan perluasan Akta Mesin Cetak dan Penerbitan untuk meliputi media dalam talian.


Kami membantah sekeras-kerasnya sebarang percubaan untuk memperluaskan skop Akta Mesin Cetak dan Penerbitan dan sekali lagi menggesa kerajaan supaya memansuhkan akta ini berserta Akta Hasutan dan undang-undang lain yang terlalu menyekat dan yang tiada tempatnya dalam masyarakat moden dan demokratik yang menjadi cita-cita negara kita.


Keberkesanan Akta Mesin Cetak dan Penerbitan dalam membelenggui akhbar selama berdekad-dekad begitu nyata, amat mengerikan jika peruntukan drastiknya dikenakan terhadap penerbitan dalam talian, justeru menyebarkan kesan 'seram' yang sama kepada ruang Internet. Tidak mustahil bahawa permit disyaratkan untuk laman sesawang berita, seperti yang berlaku di negara China. Dan melihat kepada jumlah buku yang diharamkan setiap tahun di bawah Akta Mesin Cetak dan Penerbitan, besar kemungkinan penulisan dan bahan multimedia yang tertentu dalam Internet dicop 'penerbitan yang tidak diingini', manakala pengguna Facebook dan Twitter pula dituduh menyebarkan 'berita palsu'.

 

Ciri Akta Mesin Cetak dan Penerbitan yang paling membimbangkan ialah kekurangan sekatan dan imbangan – terutamanya peruntukan yang menyatakan keputusan Menteri adalah muktamad, berbanding dengan Akta Komunikasi dan Multimedia yang sekurang-kurangnya mengandungi rujukan penghakiman.

Jika Akta Mesin Cetak dan Penerbitan dikenakan kepada Internet, ruang siber kita akan menjadi lembab dan ia mungkin meradikalkan pendapat yang berbeza.


Menteri Dalam Negeri Hishammuddin Hussein berkata pindaan tersebut masih di tahap perbincangan dan masih 'terlalu awal' untuk dipersoal oleh pihak media dan orang awam. Namun bagi kami, kekurangan ketelusan dan rundingan awam juga merupakan sebahagian daripada masalahnya. Kami membantah sekeras-kerasnya pendekatan kerajaan yang tidak telus dalam memperkenalkan undang-undang dan pindaan dengan mendedahkan sedikit sahaja maklumat mengenai intipatinya, justeru menimbulkan kerunsingan orang awam. Ketiadaan rundingan awam dalam perkara-perkara yang memberi kesan yang besar terhadap masyarakat menunjukkan bahawa hal-hal ini besar kemungkinannya bermasalah, namun kerajaan masih berkeras mahu meneruskannya tanpa mengendahkan pendapat orang awam.


Justeru, kami percaya bahawa ancaman kawalan Internet memang wujud, seperti yang nyata dengan tertubuhnya kumpulan merentasi kementerian – yang terdiri daripada Menteri Dalam Negeri; Menteri Penerangan, Komunikasi dan Kebudayaan Rais Yatim; Menteri dalam Jabatan Perdana Menteri Nazri Abdul Aziz; and Peguam Negara Abdul Gani Patail – yang menumpu kepada sekatan kebebasan ekspresi dalam talian.


Tujuannya ketara – untuk mengawal media bebas yang terakhir.


Kebangkitan isu ini ketika seluruh negara menanti-nanti pilihanraya umum yang dijangka pada tahun ini menunjukkan motivasi politik wujud di sebaliknya kerana Internet dikatakan faktor penyumbang kepada keputusan pilihanraya kerajaan persekutuan yang paling teruk dalam empat dekad pada tahun 2008. Malah, kerajaan persekutuan nampaknya mencontohi negera jiran seberang selat, di mana kerajaan yang dipimpini Parti Tindakan Rakyat meningkatkan gangguan dan kawalan terhadap media dalam talian menjelang pilihanraya.


Kami ingin memperingatkan kerajaan bahawa sebarang pelanggaran jaminan “tiada sekatan Internet”, yang diwar-warkan kepada pelabur asing supaya mereka menyertai projek Koridor Raya Multimedia sejak ia dilancarkan pada tahun 1996, akan memburukkan nama Malaysia dan memudaratkan pelaburan.

Sebarang percubaan untuk menyekat kebebasan Internet akan mendesak kumpulan masyarakat madani dan orang awam untuk membawa isu ini ke pilihanraya. Kami menyeru masyarakat, yang sudah lama dikekang dari segi kebebasan akhbar, berpersatuan dan berhimpun, untuk bangkit dan mempertahankan sempadan terakhir untuk kebebasan ekspresi – pastikan suara anda didengari dalam ruang bebas yang masih ada atau tunjukkan bantahan anda di peti undi.

 


Kenyataan bersama ini diusahakan oleh:

Pusat Kewartawanan Bebas Malaysia (Centre for Independent Journalism)

Charter 2000-Aliran
Writers Alliance for Media Independence
1 Muted Malaysia


Dan disokong oleh:
    All Women's Action Society (AWAM)
    Civil Rights Committe of KL-Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (CRC-KLSCAH)
    Civil Society Committee of Lim Lian Giok Cultural Development Centre
    Coalition of Anti-Genetically Modified Mosquitoes
    Community Action Network Community Development Centre (CDC)
    Gabungan NGO Kelantan (Coalition Of NGOs Of Kelantan)
    Health Equity Initiatives
    Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (JERIT)
    Lawyers for Liberty
    Malaysia Youth and Student Democratic Movement (DEMA)
    Pekan Frinjan
    Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER)
    Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor & Wilayah Persekutuan (PERMAS)
    Pusat Komunikasi Masyarakat (KOMAS)
    Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
    Women's Aid Organisation (WAO)

    *********************

 

Reject_netCshipReject Internet censorship; repeal the PPPA and Sedition Act

 

We are civil society groups alarmed by recent remarks from top ministerial personnel that revealed government intention to censor online free expression, from hints of “cyber sedition regulations” and the expansion of the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA) to encompass the online media.


We strongly protest any attempt to enlarge the scope of the PPPA, and reiterate our calls for the abolition of this law and the Sedition Act, as well as other overly restrictive laws that have no place in the modern, democratic society that Malaysia aspires to be.


The PPPA has been so effective in shackling the press over the past decades, it is horrifying to think that its drastic provisions may be applied to Internet publications, spreading the chilling effect online. It is not difficult to imagine news sites requiring permits, as set by the Chinese example. And judging by numerous books that are banned annually under the PPPA, certain online text and multimedia materials are likely to face the same fate as 'undesirable publications', while Facebook and Twitter users may easily find themselves landed with charges of spreading 'false news'.


Most worrying is the lack of checks and balances in the PPPA – the biggest of which is the finality of the Minister's decision, compared with the Communications and Multimedia Act, which at least provides for judicial recourse.


To impose the PPPA online will end the vigour of our cyber space and may radicalise dissent.


Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein says the amendments are still being discussed and it was 'premature' for the media and the public to question this. However, this lack of transparency and public consultation is another point of contention for us. We vehemently object to the federal government's opaque approach in introducing new laws and amendments, revealing little and causing much unease by hinting rather than informing of what is forthcoming. The lack of public consultation on matters that have a huge impact on the people shows that they are likely to be problematic, yet the government obviously intends to bulldoze its way through.


Thus, we believe that the threat to police the Internet is real, as indicated from the very set-up of a cross-ministerial group – consisting of the Home Minister; Information, Communications and Culture Minister Rais Yatim; Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nazri Abdul Aziz; and Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail – to focus on restrictions on online free expression.


The aim is obvious – to rein in the last frontier of free media.


The timing, with snap elections expected this year, indicates political motivation at work since online dissent was credited as a contributing factor to the incumbent federal government's poorest results in four decades in the 2008 general election. Indeed, the federal government appears to be taking a leaf from our southern neighbour, where the ruling People's Action Party-led government has intensified its harassment and regulation of online media ahead of polls.

 

We would like to caution the federal government that any violation of the “no Internet censorship” guarantee that has been the rallying call for foreign investors to join the Multimedia Super Corridor project since it was launched in 1996, would tarnish Malaysia's reputation and prove detrimental for investment.


Any attempt to suppress Internet freedom would result in civil society groups and the wider public going all out to turn this into a major election issue. We call on the people, whose freedoms are already narrowed by the limited press freedom and freedoms of association and assembly in the country, to rise and defend their last frontier for freedom of expression – make your voices heard in the remaining free space or take it to the ballot box.

 

This statement was initiated by:

Centre for Independent Journalism Malaysia

Writers Alliance for Media Independence

Charter 2000-Aliran

1 Muted Malaysia


Endorsed by:

All Women's Action Society (AWAM)

Civil Rights Committe of KL-Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (CRC-KLSCAH)

Civil Society Committee of Lim Lian Giok Cultural Development Centre

Coalition Anti Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

Community Action Network

Community Development Centre (CDC)

Gabungan NGO Kelantan (Coalition Of NGOs Of Kelantan)

Health Equity Initiatives

Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (JERIT)

Lawyers for Liberty Malaysia

Youth and Student Democratic Movement (DEMA)

Pekan Frinjan

Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER)

Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor & Wilayah Persekutuan (PERMAS)

Pusat Komunikasi Masyarakat (KOMAS)

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)

Women's Aid Organisation (WAO)

 

 


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