I was recently interviewed by PRWeek Asia regarding my views of the amendments of the Sedition Act 1948. My email interview is as follows:-
What power do these amendments give the Malaysian government against the tech giants?
Foong: Our laws may not reach foreign tech giants. However, with the new amendments to the Sedition Act and even under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, it is possible to block the websites of these foreign tech giants.
What could it cost them potentially to keep operating in Malaysia?
Foong: Possible problems: being criminally liable, servers and other electronic devices being seized as evidence, and so on, during investigation.
What are their options? Self-monitor like Tencent?
A self monitoring practice is possible but it will be costly and time consuming. Unfortunately, we do not have takedown notice provision (other than under our Copyright Act) or laws to protect intermediaries, hence monitoring is required in Malaysia.
One possible option is to have their operations moved out from Malaysia which is detrimental to our economy.
Do you think lobbying will change these amendments?
Foong: Lobbying for laws to protect intermediaries would be recommended. Other than affecting the freedom of expression, it also affects our digital economy. Foreign investors will have to think twice before setting up their operation and putting their servers here in Malaysia.
For the full article, please visit here.