Bernama is reporting that academics and bloggers believe in the Home Ministry’s proposal to pass a law requiring the registration of bloggers. The news agency interviewed several sources who expressed the opinion that registration would prevent defamation and promote unity; and make it easier to clamp down on those who spread false information.
The director of the Centre for Malaysian Royal Institutional Studies Malaysia at Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP), Prof Datuk Dr Ramlah Adam, thinks that the proposal should be implemented immediately – as it would ensure that all writers remain ethical and responsible to the nation. Ramlah said that all information should be based on research or come from legitimate sources with experience in the field. She also said that articles should not be written with the aim of bringing down any party through inciting hatred.
Ramlah’s statement was echoed by local bloggers Shahpaskal and Zulhazri Abu Bakar. Both believe that registration would be useful in preventing the freedom of speech from being abused. Shahpaskal, who runs a blog about the Malaysian military, said that social media is often used to spread unhealthy and defamatory content.
“There are those who shame others, spread defamatory remarks, false news, obscene material, pornography, free sex and religious material which are against the Sunnah belief in Malaysia,” he said.
Zulhazri expressed a similar belief, “For instance, today, portals which are leftists resort to confusing and twisting facts which are disseminated by netizens before they can be erased, giving rise to a bad perception of individuals or leaders.”
The issue of blogger regulation cropped up again over the weekend, when Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed explained that the intent of the proposed law is to ensure that articles in blogs or social networks were accurate, valid, ethical and did not abuse the Internet.