Gobind confirms revision, not repeal for Communications and Multimedia Act

Danial Dzulkifly
Despite promising to do away with laws deemed a threat to free speech in its GE14 manifesto, Gobind said the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition could not now repeal the CMA. — Picture by Razak Ghazali

PETALING JAYA, Sept 4 ― The Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA) 1998 will be amended and not repealed at this point in time, Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said today.

Despite promising to do away with laws deemed a threat to free speech in its GE14 manifesto, the minister said the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition could not now repeal the CMA.

“CMA also deals with a lot of regulatory frameworks so to repeal it at this point in time is unattainable. However certain sections such as Section 233 and 211 of the Act,” he said in an interview with BFM Radio this morning.

Section 211 deals with improper use of network facilities or network service while Section 233 prohibits the publication of offensive content on the internet.

“In the past Section 233, has been used against Opposition members and some of them have been charged.

“The current scenario is that the provision is very broad,” he said.

He added that the amendments to the provisions in the law also partly to ensure that there won’t be political persecution.

The PH coalition made good its electoral promise to do away with the Anti-Fake News Act 2018 in Parliament last month.

The law had been speedily approved by the previous Barisan Nasional government despite protests earlier this year and took force on April 2, just before the May 9 general election.

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