KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 20 (Bernama) — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the government intends to implement international standards to regulate the Internet.
“I specifically say regulate, not restrict – so that none should have to suffer being criminally defamed.
“…and so that the Internet does not become an ungoverned space dominated by insults and untruths,” he said when delivering his speech on ‘Leadership in Challenging Times’ at the 26th Tunku Abdul Rahman Lecture, organised by Malaysian Institute of Management, here Thursday night.
Also present was Malaysian Institute of Management president, Tun Mohammed Hanif Omar.
Najib said the government took the safety and security of all Malaysians very seriously and that was why it introduced the Prevention of Terrorism Act.
Najib said the nation’s economic reforms had been matched by those in other areas such as the abolishment of the Internal Security Act (ISA), the Emergency Ordinance besides the repealing of the Banishment Act and the Restricted Residence Act.
He said the country also passed the Peaceful Assembly Act, changed the law to allow students to participate in politics, and amended the Printing Presses and Publications Act.
“This was the greatest expansion of civil liberties in Malaysia s history. Yet some outsiders have attacked us for not taking care of the people s rights,” he said.
Najib also slammed former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s
democracy is dead in Malaysia” remark.
Thus, the Prime Minister said if anyone doubted that Malaysians are at liberty to find fault with the government, they should spend a few moments looking online.
“We are acutely aware of the criticisms levelled at the government
and we are listening. Unlike in many other countries in the developing world, no one will ever be arrested or prosecuted for the legitimate expression of their opinions,” he said.
However, he said with freedom comes responsibility and people who were open-minded and well informed were in a position to make enlightened judgments, but those who were ill-informed, would turn to half-truths and lies, and depended on unreliable sources, who distort and sensationalise information.
“This is extremely dangerous. This is why my government intends to implement international standards to regulate the internet,” he said.
Najib also said true patriots would work with “us in this spirit to secure our common future”.
“They will celebrate Malaysia s successes, not scaremonger and talk the country down. True patriots will not try to score cheap points, but will join us to discuss bringing greater transparency and accountability to our democracy and public institutions,” he said.
He said true patriots knew that responsible leadership is about doing what is right for Malaysia’s long-term future, rather than airing sensational and baseless claims for short-term gains that do nothing for the rakyat (people).
“I am confident that this is the kind of leadership the vast majority of Malaysians want, and will support going forward,” he said.