Now if you’ve been following Twitter in the past 12 hours, you would have seen the #PPPA term trending on most Malaysian timelines. The PPPA in this case means the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, which is the same act that regulates newspapers and magazines in Malaysia.
This was the same Act used against the Catholic Church newspaper Herald. In case you were wondering, yes I’m talking about the Allah issue. For the record, this is also the same Act that is used to ban books.
Now they are proposing to expand the Act to cover online news. At a glance, this means they are looking to censor or take control of online publication. After all, places like The Malaysian Insider, Malaysiakini and the Nut Graph are websites dangerous to national security.
The part that you really SHOULD be worried about is the part where the Home Minister’s Secretary General says that they are looking whether they should expand this to cover Facebook, Twitter, blogs, forums and everything else. At best? This would mean that everyone would have to get a license to even think of tweeting. At worst?
We might go to jail because we called each other jakun.*
Having said that, now read this. I like how he says that they will ignore the Bill of Guarantees because it is a national security issue. My only question is, national security in what sense?
I can only wonder if by “national” security they meant political security. They always fear what they cannot control.
While some people will point out that no one knows what the proposed amendments are and that we could actually be looking towards seeing regulations loosened, this statement makes me think that they are looking to tighten it instead.
“We hope the amendments will be tabled in Parliament by March this year because we need to overcome weaknesses, especially those involving multimedia content,” he (Home Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Mahmood Adam) said after presenting appointment letters to members and associate members of the Film Censorship Board and Film Appeal Board today.
If you’re looking to loosen regulations, you wouldn’t use the word weakness. Especially not in this context. But then again, you have to wonder.
Who’s the weakest one?