Wednesday, August 2, 2006

"We cannot allow the Internet or the Short Messaging Service (SMS) to become a platform for people to spread rumours or threaten others"

Malaysia to crack down on bloggers

Kuala Lumpur, Aug. 2 (PTI): Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has warned of a crack down on bloggers who post malicious comments on their websites and spread rumours to hamper the country's peace and harmony.

Such acts could also make the people, including investors, lose faith in the economy and the development programmes, Badawi said.

"We cannot allow the Internet or the Short Messaging Service (SMS) to become a platform for people to spread rumours or threaten others," he was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times.

Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin said yesterday that the Internet was sometimes used to spread allegations that threatened national security and racial harmony.

Abdullah said the government would closely monitor the content of the Internet websites and blogs that published seditious material. The liberty taken by the publishers of the blogs and websites carrying `malicious' contents exceeded the freedom given to the Malaysian media, he said.

"These people are practising the sort of freedom where they spread lies if they felt like doing so. Where can you find that sort of freedom in the world?" he asked.

Asked if he was calling for a control mechanism, Abdullah said he would leave it to the police to investigate, the Star newspaper said.