[Malaysia] Still Waiting for Reforms

There is, however, concern that the reform agenda has been stalled. Malaysia’s freedom of expression regime is in limbo, caught between the PH coalition’s promises made prior to the elections and the reality of a government attempting to consolidate its grip on power. Reform is also being met with resistance not only from bureaucrats, but also from politicians at the centre of power. As a result, the coalition government has underdelivered on expectations, and has even been showing a disconcerting lack of commitment to the human-rights principles it had pledged to uphold in its election manifesto.

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[Malaysia] No Class Act

In April 2018, during its last Parliamentary sitting as Government, the Barisan Nasional rushed through a law designed, according to its supporters, to curb the spread of “fake news:” the Anti-Fake News Act. As initially presented to Parliament, the bill encompassed anyone, Malaysian or non-Malaysian, who discussed Malaysia at home or abroad. Those found guilty under the bill faced a fine of up to half a million ringgit (USD 121,000) and up to 10 years in prison. The penalties were eventually watered down, but they still remained severe, with up to six years in prison, and fines that could accumulate over time.

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[Malaysia] National consultation for a media council concludes in Kuala Lumpur

Organized jointly by the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) and the Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights (MCCHR), the national consultation on the formation of a national media council tackled the whys and wherefores of setting up a media council in Malaysia, including relevant media issues, and aimed to carve out a road map for its establishment.

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[Malaysia] CIJ, MCCHR launch site for media council national consultation

The Centre for Independent Journalism in Malaysia (CIJ) and the Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights (MCCHR) launched today, 22 February 2019 a website (http://msiamediacouncil.website/) to “begin discussions again on establishing a National Media Council of Malaysia.”

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[Malaysia] Statement: CIJ dismayed at continuing violations against freedom of expression

The Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) is dismayed that violations against freedom of expression are still occurring, despite the newly elected government’s stated commitment to bring legislation and practice in line with international human rights standards. Lawyer and activist Fadiah Nakwa Fikri has been summoned for questioning by police under section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act and the broadly worded Sedition Act following the publication of an article interrogating the relationship between political leaders and the monarchies in Malaysia.

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