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Amended Evidence Act stays

August 23, 2012

The Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nazri Abdul Aziz says the amendment is necessary for national security.

KUALA KANGSAR: Section 114A of the Evidence Act, which sparked an online furore, will be retained because it protects the people, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Abdul Aziz said today.

He said the Act can help thwart any attempt by certain quarters which wanted to harm the country.

“We are concerned for the people. I did not hesitate to table the bill in Parliament in April because I thought that the amendment was necessary for the security of the country,” he told reporters.

The amendment to Section 114A was one of two made to the Act which was gazetted in July this year.

Section 114A presumes that a person whose name, photograph or pseudonym appears on any publication depicting himself as the owner, host, administrator, editor or sub-editor, or who in any manner facilitates to publish or re-publish the publication is presumed to have published or re-published the contents of the publication unless the contrary is proven.

The amendment also refers to any person who has in his custody or control any computer on which any publication originates from is presumed to have published or re-published the content unless the contrary is proven.

Nazri said there was no necessity to review the amendment.

He also said that the matter did not receive any objection from opposition MPs when the bill was debated in Parliament.

“The bill was tabled in April and debated for four hours, and I replied to all questions raised by the opposition. They [the opposition] were not totally against the amendment because they are also potential victims,” he said.

Commenting on the Facebook page where Umno Youth purportedly posted a provocative religious message that sparked an uproar, Nazri said the calls to prosecute Umno Youth did not make sense because the public prosecutor had not received any report of investigation from the police.

He said those questioning the amendment to the Act purposely made a controversy of the issue because Umno Youth was associated with the government.

“It does not make sense. If you do not understand the law, it is better to remain silent and not make a fuss and confuse the people,” he said.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, in his portal, had challenged the attorney-general to prosecute Umno Youth over the posting.


Also read:

Evidence Act: Still room for better definition


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