Although Abdullah said that people would not be curtailed in their quest for information through the Internet and that the government understood and appreciated the right to disseminate information through cyberspace, he has failed to explain how two Deputy Ministers in two important Ministries which have direct dealing with the internet and freedom of information could on the same day come out with such damaging statements which is a major setback in Malaysia’s efforts to project the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) as an ideal Asian Silicon Valley.
If the government is serious about its commitment of no internet censorship, the world IT community would have expected a loosening of the repressive laws which inhibit free flow of information in the country. Instead, there had been increasingly repressive use of the various draconian laws like the Sedition Act, the Printing Presses and Publications Act and the Official Secrets Act - particularly after the recent general election, as illustrated by the arrest and prosecution of Opposition leaders and the clampdown on various Opposition publications.
The trend to inhibit free flow of information, coupled with the clumsy attempts at Internet censorship by two Deputy Ministers, have shaken the confidence of the international IT community in the seriousness and commitment of the government with regard to its guarantee of no internet censorship as one of the Bills of Guarantee to promote the MSC.
To restore world IT confidence in the ten Bills of Guarantee and the government’s commitment on no internet censorship, I call on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to introduce a bill in the current meeting of Parliament to amend the Malaysian Constitution to entrench the guarantee of "No Internet censorship" to ensure that this commitment to the world IT community could not be undermined by any whim or fancy of any political leader.