15 August 2012
The Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) calls on all netizens to sign this petition to stop the Evidence (Amendment) (No2) Act 2012.
If implemented, the new Evidence Act would seriously hinder the democratic right to freedom of expression on the Net in Malaysia.
Promote this petition and start a conversation with your friends on your Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and comment sections about the potential implications of this act. Use the hashtag #stop114a in your online discussions!
Watch this video for an overview of the new Evidence Act, and the negative impacts it could have.
Frequently asked questions
1. What is 114a?
Section 114a is a new amendment to the Evidence Act 1950 that was passed in parliament without debate in April 2012. The section is called “Presumption of fact in publication”. It states that any owner, admin, host, editor, subscriber of a network or website, or owner of computer or mobile device is presumed to have published or re-published its contents.
2. Why is it a problem?
It has wide-ranging reach and extends not only to practically everyone who uses any internet platform – from e-mail and social media to blogs and online media – but also those who don’t.
It is a problem because:
i) It presumes guilt rather than innocence.
ii) It makes individuals and organisations who administer, operate or provide spaces for online community forums, blogging and hosting services, liable for content that is published through its services.
iii) It allows hackers and cyber criminals to go free by making the person whose account/computer is hacked liable for any content/data which might have changed.
iv) It can make an individual liable for content that one did not publish when someone creates an account in one’s name.
v) It threatens the principle of anonymity online, which is crucial in promoting a free and open Internet.
vi) It threatens freedom of expression online.
In other words, it is against the core principles of justice, democracy and fundamental human rights.
3. How will this affect Malaysian citizens?
If 114a is not stopped, citizens will be held responsible for the words of others. It can also result in the removal of comment functions, curtailing one’s space for posting legitimate comments and opinions. This impacts one’s democratic right to participate freely and openly in public debate and discussions. Indirectly, it will foster a climate of self-censorship, and will have a huge impact on the interactive nature of online media.
4. Why do we want to stop 114a?
Our opinions – as netizens and as citizens – matter. If the new Evidence Act were gazetted, 114a would seriously hinder the democratic right to freedom of expression on the Net.
Let’s keep online spaces free and open to critical comments and debates.
5. How can you take action?
We are asking the Malaysian government to withdraw this amendment so that online spaces and media can remain open, participatory and interactive. You can help!
b) CIJ will then take the petition to Parliament and hand it over to the de facto law minister before the end of the June parliamentary session.
c) Don’t let the law be implemented in silence. Make it visible. Promote the petition and start a conversation with your friends on your Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and comment sections about the potential implications of this act. Use the hashtag #stop114a in your online discussions!