Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Coronavirus - Malaysian Government Must Provide Regular Updates - Stop 'persecuting' persons for 'fake news'?

CORONAVIRUS - Most people everywhere, including Malaysia, are very AFRAID and they seek and want regular information in Malaysia more so since that disease is already here in Malaysia. 

Therefore the government need to provide:-

- REGULAR UPDATES - it should be at least daily updates ..or even more than that. It must be provided to all - and maybe through an official website maybe under the Ministry of Health - All media should advertise this official website - so Malaysians can visit and get the truth..Maybe also have something like InfoBanjir ...where people can regularly visit and get the latest news. Maybe also a telephone email service where people can write to ask questions clarification - and get it immediately or fast within hours.

In the said website, the government can also 'correct' fake news - either stating that it is not true or 'unverified' - this is how the government deals with 'fake news'... In the Bangkok post, there was a news story referring to each of these 'fake news' and the government response.

When Malaysia lost a plane, there were daily media conference broadcasted live - maybe such a regular media conference broadcasted live should be held maybe at 8pm or after regular working hours. 

UPDATES - Number of new cases, deaths...and also the POSITIVE news of how many have recovered and gone home...

Sadly, the Malaysian government's present action seem to be to ARREST PEOPLE on the grounds that they are distributing 'fake news' - it seems Pakatan Harapan is acting contrary their own position of respecting freedom of expression and opinion which was also shown by the abolition of the Fake News Act.

Some of these persons shared news that they got which they believed maybe true - the government with all its abilities and power should not be arresting people and scaring others who share news which may be true or not > Government should really be correcting these news if it is truly fake. To expect ordinary people to investigate and verify is unreasonable and absurd..

Worse still is that the government is using that draconian Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 that ought to be repealed...

The Malaysian Bar has a resolution calling specifically for the repeal of this section 233...

C. That we, the Malaysian Bar calls for the repeal of section 263, section 233 and such vague provisions in the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998....- see full Bar Resolution in HR Defender Fadiah Nadwa Fikri latest victim of draconian Sedition Act, which PH said will be repealed??

Other human rights groups have also called for the repeal of section 233..

Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998
Section 233 makes any communication over the internet, being ‘…any comment, request, suggestion or other communication which is obscene, indecent, false, menacing or offensive in character with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass another person. …’ an offence.

‘…it is just too broad and vague, and is open to abuse. For example, the highlighting of violation of human rights or laws, or facts connected to alleged violations of rights/laws, would likely ‘annoy’ or even ‘harass’ the wrongdoer, and for the alleged wrongdoer, it could also be said to be ‘menacing and offensive’. This should never be considered an offence… As such, this section deters even the highlighting of human rights abuses, breaches of law and even possible government wrongdoing. This section even deters the sharing of such relevant and important facts, and/or opinions over the internet…’ – Malaysian Bar Resolution....

...MADPET also call for the immediate announcement of the discontinuation of further action against all persons currently being investigated under the Sedition Act, Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 and/or other similar draconian legislations....
MADPET calls on Malaysia to immediately repeal the Sedition Act, and also such sections in any law that is against freedom of expression and opinion like Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998; There is really no justification to delay and/pr procrastinate the repeal of bad laws on grounds like ‘further study and review’, an excuse often advanced by the past government that Malaysians voted out. ... - MADPET media statement 16/7/2018
So, why is our Minister and the ALTERNATIVE Coalition of Hope(Pakatan Harapan) government again using this draconian section 233?
The government may have repealed the Fake News law...but alas, there are still many draconian provisions in law that can be used with the same effect. That Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 also have provisions for the government to block internet access to websites without even according first the right to be heard in court to the owners of website - remember internet access of Malaysians to media sites like Malaysian Insider, Malaysian Chronicle and also Sarawak Report - Well, new PH government still keeping this bad law ...I wonder whether any websites have been blocked by the Malaysian government using this power under that Communications and Multimedia Act...
What is our New government still not repealing these unjust laws? After coming into power, have they now become more like the previous government?
Coronavirus - we want to be informed...and informed fast...but now the government seems to be arresting people blocking the 'spread of fake news' - Fake news - the respond is a speedy government announcement to Malaysians that this and that is FAKE or 'cannot be verified by government and believed to be false).
HOPE - tells us how many infected and RECOVERED - now the focus is just on deaths, for I believe so many more have fully recovered, and news like this will give us HOPE and reduce fear.
Do not use the 'coronavirus' issue to justify the political agenda of invading personal privacy (on-going monitoring of people's communication) and putting the fear into people to stop sharing their views/info or those of others. Only what government tells you is TRUE...well, we remember the IMDB/SRC...the government story that no one punched Anwar's eyes, no police officer killed or caused the enforced disappearance...
An attempt to suppress alternative views and facts by government using FEAR, Arrests,,,THREATS ...only results in a reduction of trust in government information. What is happening to the Wang Kelian Royal Commission of Inquiry Report? Another secret under Official Secrets Act? 

Sixth person arrested for spreading fake news on Wuhan virus

PETALING JAYA: A 28-year-old bank clerk was arrested in Kuantan this afternoon to assist in investigations into a Facebook posting which spread fake news about the Wuhan virus outbreak.

This brings to six the number of people arrested for this offence over three days.

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) said the suspect’s mobile phone and SIM card were confiscated on suspicion of being used to upload the post on Monday.
She is being investigated under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, which carries a maximum fine of RM50,000 or a jail term of not more than one year, or both, on conviction.

Today marks the third day in a row MCMC and the police have conducted raids to arrest people believed to have been involved in the spread of fake news about the outbreak of the virus, known as the novel corononavirus and designated 2019-nCoV which began in Wuhan, central China.

Eight Chinese nationals in Malaysia have been confirmed to have been infected by the virus so far. - Free Malaysia Today, 30/1/2020

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