Minister of Communication and Multimedia, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah’s remarks in Dewan Rakyat were worrying as they suggested that that any person producing video content, even for personal use on social media, was subject to the licensing requirement that also needed them to have companies with a paid up-up capital of RM50,000 each.
Following the backlash, Saifuddin then released a statement indicating a turnaround, where he stressed the Perikatan Nasional government has no intention to stifle individual freedom for social media users while conceding that outdated law needs to be amended, quoted by Malay Mail.
The statement come with 3 key points:
- The Malaysian government asserts its position to uphold the principles of media freedom and the right to individual freedom on social media sites.
- Social media users are free to use existing platforms such as TikTok, YouTube, and the likes, and produce and upload videos as usual without having to apply for licence or worry about being prosecuted by Finas
- Government will amend the laws which fall under their purview for it to be more applicable to current times.
This comes off the back of a controversial news documentary titled ” Locked up in Malaysia’s lockdown” broadcasted on YouTube by Al Jazeera, which triggered outrage from netizens, and even government leaders.
Further pressure followed after Al Jazeera reporters were summoned to federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman as police initiated investigations into alleged breach of the Communications Multimedia Act, while a Bangladeshi national featured on the documentary had his work permit revoked by the Immigration Department.
Info via China Press