The Communications and Multimedia Ministry has sent a proposed legal amendment that would force blogs and online newspapers to register with the government to the Attorney-General’s chamber. Communications Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak said that his ministry is working to ensure that the amendments would not affect non-political bloggers.
“So we have sent it to the AG to look at the amendments… we are looking at all considerations. But you must remember some blogs are not political, they may be involved in fashion, there are many other blogs,” he said when asked by reporters.
He added that the proposed laws were not intended to quell dissent and silence criticism of the government. Instead, the goal is to educate the public to use the internet to uplift the economy and not for social networking.
While the details of the amendment are still unknown, it is understood that it would allow the government to regulate online portals in the same manner as print newspapers. At the moment, Putrajaya has the right to revoke or suspend the publication license of newspapers and magazines.
How these regulations would apply to online content is not entirely known. At the moment, websites can be blocked by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission for a variety of reasons. It is assumed that the amendments would simply make it easier for the government to discover the owners of blogs that violate regulations.
[Source: The Malay Mail Online]