SHAH ALAM, 21 May 2009: Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said the proposal by some quarters for bloggers in Malaysia to be registered required indepth study.
“The idea is good, but we have see it from the legal aspects and from the aspect of freedom of internet use.
“We have to see whether registering bloggers is in line with the provisions of the Communications and MultiMedia Act 1998. We should not be hasty in implementing the proposal,” he said after meeting with Selangor Information Department and Special Affairs Department officers here today.
However, he said, bloggers still have to face the existing laws for defamation and sedition.
“Meanwhile, we are studying a new act, the Multimedia Signature Act, which has been in the pipeline the past three years. This act is expected to support the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998,” he said.
At the same time, Rais is encouraging his ministry’s officers to be internet-savvy to keep up with a changing world.
Rais said if he who had served under five prime ministers could learn new things through the internet, he could not see why the officers should not.
He also said information officers needed to be close to the people by giving information on government policies, not just in their homes and community halls, but also at coffee shops and other eateries and at the market place, in order to know their sentiments.
Disseminating information through less formal ways but directly to the people could be more effective for the government, he added.
On the need to locate the Selangor Broadcasting Department closer to the state Information Department, he said the former would be shifted back to the state if there were suitable premises available.
The Selangor Broadcasting Department was ordered to vacate its office at the Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Building last year after the Pakatan Rakyat took over the state government from the Barisan Nasional after the last general election on 8 March. — Bernama