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Tuesday September 8, 2009

No censorship, says PM

PM at national ICT council meeting

PUTRAJAYA: The Government’s efforts to enhance legal provisions and policies to deal with illegal and immoral activities on the Internet will not lead to the removal of provisions under laws ensuring there will be no censorship of the Web.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the Internet had given rise to cyber-threats which were a real concern to the nation due to the illegal and immoral activities in cyberspace and the Government was forced to look at ways to curb such activities.

Official responsibility: Najib speaking at the Prime Minister’s Department monthly assembly in Putrajaya Monday. Also present were (from left) Ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala and Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop and Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

“Nevertheless, as we know freedom of speech is not absolute, it must come with responsibility, (because) what is illegal and immoral should be the same for both the online and offline environment,” he told reporters after chairing the National IT Council (NITC) meeting at the Prime Minister’s office here yesterday.

He said it was hoped that a recently completed study would help to enhance legal provisions and policies to deal with such activities and effectively address the challenges they posed such as anonymity, cross border jurisdictions, evidence gathering and clarity of law.

He said the Bill of guarantees and the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 provide for no censorship of the Internet and this would be maintained.

Najib also said the NITC, which comprises representative from the Government, private and community-interest sectors, had identified three thrust areas for deliberation in future meetings.

Among the areas are e-sovereignty, which addresses aspects of protection, promotion, education and preservation and e-economy, the creative multimedia content industry, e-agriculture and e-services.

Another is the digital social inclusion which covers programmes for bridging the digital divide and high speed broadband roll-out.

Najib also expressed satisfaction with the success of Malaysian Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) companies that have been involved in world class projects and successfully produced home grown intellectual property as well as co-produced animated features and games.

He said the Multimedia Cluster of MSC, comprising 183 MSC-status companies specialising in post-production, animation, game development, e-learning, mobile and interactive content, had successfully created 7,115 jobs and recorded RM730mil in revenue, including exports valued at RM125mil.

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