EVIDENCE ACT: 'Traps' in new law a threat to free speech
THE newly-inserted Section 114A of the Evidence Act provides for the following:
OWNERS, hosts, administrators, editors or sub-editors of websites or social media accounts are deemed responsible for any content that has been published or republished on their site, whether by themselves, persons impersonating them or any other persons;
SUBSCRIBERS of a network service that was used to publish or re-publish any content are deemed responsible for the publication; and,
OWNERS or individuals in custody of an electronic device that was used to publish or republish any content are deemed responsible for the publication.
This means that until you can prove you are innocent of these charges, you are considered by the law as guilty. This is a complete reversal of the usual "innocent until proven guilty concept".
Why was there a rush to pass this law in Parliament? Was enough time provided to debate this important matter? Were the people consulted?
This puzzles me and I believe most Malaysians are, too.
If I had done it, then the authorities can charge me. But if someone else had done it, I should be left alone.
This amendment is a threat to the freedom of speech enshrined in our Constitution.
It has far-reaching consequences because it makes owners of blogs responsible for anything that appears on their site. It is unfair.
If someone posts an anonymous comment on my blog or Facebook page that somebody does not like, then I'm responsible for it even if I don't know who posted it.
I receive a lot of emails and these "traps" in the new law now trouble me for I could unknowingly get caught for it.
Rescind this amendment, please.