By now most savvy internet users, especially bloggers and those who are active in social media would have known what is Section 114A of the Evidence Act right? Simply put Section 114A of the Evidence Act is an UNFAIR law that will make all of us "guilty until proven innocent". So if someone were to hijack your Facebook and posted derogatory, insulting remarks about our Sultan, you will be held responsible until you can prove it is not you! If you cannot prove that your Facebook account had been hacked you will be thrown into the jail. Period.
I find it is ridiculous for our Malaysian government to amend such a law on us-the commoners. This "guilty until proven innocent" presumption will strike fear into Malaysians who run blogs and those who are actively engaged in social media such as Facebook and Twitter. One can easily be "framed" and "entrapped" under this new act! I can't help but feel that this Section 114A of the Evidence Act is amended to CENSOR the internet indirectly! So the government is trying to gag us especially when the general election is fast approaching?
Imagine you-a blogger, who voiced out about your opinions about the government in your latest blog post. Then you wake up the next day, realizing that someone has left a comment on your blog posts. Those comments questioned the special privileges given to the Malays as stated in the constitution. You frantically deleted all the comments but it was too late. Police had already knocked on your door with proof that your blog ALLOWED comments which incited racial hatred. So how do you prove that you are innocent in such situation?
If this prejudiced, biased, discriminatory, bigoted, distorted section 114A of the Evidence Act is not repealed, rest assured that the people will stand up against it. The ruling government will be voted out for amending such an unfair law which totally affects the fundamental rights of every Malaysian! This will also make it easier for unscrupulous party to abuse the law for their own gains and benefits! Has the government even think this through carefully? This goes to show how childish our Malaysian government can be at times. Hahaha :D *cynical*
So now we are all GUILTY?
So now we are all GUILTY?
About Section 114A (What You Need To Know)
The following resource has been obtained from http://stop114a.wordpress.com.
What is Section 114A?
Section 114A is the second of two amendments made to Malaysia’s Evidence Act 1950. Law Minister Nazri Aziz tabled the second amendment, formally known as Evidence (Amendment) (No2) Act 2012, in Dewan Rakyat on 18 April. James Dawos Mamit supported the motion, and Section 114A was passed after the second and third reading. On 9 May, Dewan Negara passed the amendment. The amendment was gazetted on 31 July 2012. This means the law is now operational.
What is the purpose of Section 114A?
Section 114A deals with allegedly illicit or harmful content on the Internet. In short, the amendment enables law enforcement officials to swiftly hold someone accountable for publishing seditious, defamatory, or libelous content online.
How does Section 114A affect you?
Titled “Presumption of Fact in Publication”, Section 114A holds the following people accountable for publishing content online:
- those who own, administrate, or edit websites open to public contributors, such as online forums or blogs;
- those who provide webhosting services or Internet access; and
- those own the computer or mobile device used to publish content online.
In other words, if allegedly defamatory content is traced back to your username, electronic device, and/or WiFi network, Section 114A presumes you are guilty of publishing illicit content on the Internet. But what if you were the victim of identity theft and a hacker wrongfully used your Twitter or Facebook account to post defamatory content? Under Section 114A, you are still considered guilty until proven innocent.
What is wrong with Section 114A?
Section 114A is problematic for a number of reasons:
- It disproportionately burdens average Internet users who are wrongfully accused of publishing seditious or defamatory content.
- It makes Internet intermediaries–parties that provide online community forums, blogging and hosting services–liable for content that is published through their services.
- It allows hackers and cyber criminals to be free by making the person whose account/computer is hacked liable for any content/data which might have changed.
- It is a bad law passed in haste and does not take into account public interest and participation.
I really, really hope that our Malaysian government will come to their senses and stop monkeying around with such a disturbing amendment! Section 114A of the Evidence Act is an irresponsible law which indirectly try to suppress freedom of speech in Malaysia. If this act is not repealed, I am sure Malaysians from all walks of life, regardless of their religion, race and political background will stand up to fight against it! It's time to speak up!