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Stop 114A: Najib’s twitter just ‘sandiwara’

 | August 16, 2012

Sarawak opposition is urging people to be wise and reject Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and his BN government's 'plot' to cheat the rakyat.

KUCHING: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s twitter reaction to the Stop 114A Internet Blackout Day campaign on Aug 14 was a typical “BN sandiwara”, claims Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong.

She said if Najib and his government were “sincere” and genuinely want to put people’s interest first, then why was the bill – Section 114A of the Evidence (Amendment) Act 1950 – passed in a rush and without debate in April this year?

“I can see this as a political circus that has been planned before hand… We can see that if Najib claimed in his twitter message that he put the interest of the people first, why was the law rushed and passed in the first place?

“Why was there no debate or discussions or public views sought before the passing of this law?

“I see this as a political circus or sandiwara performed by the BN government,” said Yong.

Reacting to to the Stop 114A Internet Blackout Day campaign, Najib had twittered: ‘I [Najib] have asked Cabinet to discuss Section 114A of the Evidence Act 1950. Whatever we do we must put people first’.

Najib made the remark after more than 45,000 people protested against the unpopular amendment.

The amendment was gazetted in July this year.

Said Yong, who is also Sarawak DAP treasurer: “Firstly, the Najib government allowed nasty laws to be passed, and secondly it wants the people to protest or go against the laws.

“In that way, Najib will have the last word claiming that he has heard the voices of the people and that the government will re-look at those laws and will refer them to the Cabinet for further discussions.

“Najib will then say that ‘Janji Ditepati’ (promises fulfilled).

“Then this will create the impression that the government is placing the interest of the people first. This is the plot.. It is all a sandiwara,” said Yong.

‘We must not be cheated’

Urging the government to immediately repeal or revoke the new section, Yong said: “There is no sincerity on the part of the government to respect freedom of expression.

“I am telling the voters that they should not be trapped in this sandiwara played by the BN government.

“We must not be cheated. We must end this BN government.”

Section 114A came about following an amendment to the Evidence Act 1950 which was passed in April and gazetted in July this year.

The amendment enables the law enforcement officials to hold the publishers of websites accountable for publishing seditious, defamatory or libellous content online even if they are not the actual authors of the content until they prove themselves innocent.

Those affected include people who own, administer or edit websites open to public contributors such as forums or blogs, people who provide web-hosting services on Internet access and people who own the computer or mobile device used to publish content online.

The Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) organised a campaign against the unpopular amendment to the Evidence Act 1950.


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