by Lim Kit Siang - Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong
in Petaling Jaya
on Thursday, 16 January 1997

DAP calls on Government to give the public and the world cybercommunity advance notice of the four cyberlaws it is to present in Parliament in March to demonstrate that Malaysia is serious in offering MSC to the world IT industry

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said in Los Angeles yesterday that the Government had already drafted and presented to the Cabinet four cyberlaws which are expected to be tabled in the March Parliament.

The four bills are Digital Signature, Multimeda Intellectual Property Protection, Computer Crime and Telemedicine Development. These will be the first of the series of cyberlaws for the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC).

Addressing entertainment industry leaders in Los Angeles, Mahathir said that the MSC - “located in the cultural heart of Asia” - would be truly a world first, the careful creation of an area which the infrastructure, laws, policies and practices which would enable companies to explore the Information Age without any of the usual constraints which frustrated them.

For a start, which would also demonstrate both to the nation and the world that Malaysia would have a new “mindset” necessary for the Information Age and that it could operate in an open and transparent fashion, the government should give the nation and the cybercommunity all over the world advance notice of the four cyberlaws which are to be presented to Parliament in March.

As the Government had completed drafting the four cyberbills and presented them to the Cabinet, there is no reason why they should not be made public to get the benefit of feedback, not only in the country but from the world cybercommunity. The government should be prepared to make further amendments to these draft cyberlaws based on these national and cybercommunity reactions, even before the four bills are presented to Parliament in March.

This is essential as cyberlaws are very new creatures in the world. Further, such a step would serve notice to the world that Malaysia is genuine when it is offering Multimedia Super Corridor to the world IT industry, by inviting the world cybercommunity to actively participate in the formulation of the first cyberlaws in the country.