Hence, “censorship” would be referred as an act, policy, decree to censor the Eddie. Censorship has always take an important role in history that deemed to suppress freedom of expression across different era. Early signs of censoring could be traced back into ancient societies. For instance, following the well-known story of Socrates being sentenced to drink poison during Greek empire, the Romans has treated censorship as an honorable task and recognized Its importance In shaping individual characteristics.
On the other hand, looking Into the current China, there Is no surprise that the 1st China censorship law can be recorded as early as DADDY. Censorship is served for different purposes across the time-line of human 1 5th century, which is in contrast towards another purpose of enhancing the influence of Soviet Socialist Republic in Russian empire during 20th century. Its reasoning could be depending on nature of authority and its relation with citizens as well as the values of society itself.
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Despite the past is shadowed by censorship, demagnification of societies in modern days have become the cornerstone in realizing freedom of expressions. Countries in northern Europe, such as Sweden are frontiers that has made attempt to abolish censorship through introducing a law that guarantees freedom of press in 1766, which followed by Denmark-Norway in 17708. Meanwhile, the enforcement of first Amendment of the Constitution of the United States (1787) is regarded as the root of the comprehensive protection on freedom of expressions.
However, in Malaysia context, censorship has remained upon today as important tools to 1 Oxford University Press, Oxford Advance Learner’s Dictionary (7th Eden, POP 2005) 237. 2 Oxford, Oxford Advance Learner’s Dictionary (n 1) 3 Meet Newt, ‘The long history of censorship’ (Beacon for freedom, 2010) accessed November 2013. 4 Newt, ‘The long history of censorship’ (n 3) 5 ibid 6 Army . Taft, ‘Censorship of film, broadcast and Internet’ (Bibliophile Alexandrine, 2004) accessed 26 October 2013. Newt ‘The long history of censorship’ (n 3); Sheldon S. Woolen, Politics and Vision: Continuity and Innovation in Western Political Thought (Princeton University Press, 2004) 8 Newt ‘The long history of censorship’ (n 3) 9 ibid control and regulate various media to ensure there is no illicit materials to be spread among society. As a result, various Free Speech institutions have regarded Malaysia s a low scorer in freedom of expression.
In fact, extensive censorship legislations are still enforced to regulate the As a result, various Free Speech institutions have regarded Malaysia as a low scorer in freedom of information received 1 . Due to large variety of media available, this assignment would only focus on evaluating the censorship restrictions on printing press and publication in Malaysia, particularly books, articles and printed news. Assessment will be conducted in basis of the extent of power, conflicts with freedom of expression as well as it effect on affected businesses. 0 Censorship in Malaysia Malaysia has fallen by 23 places to its historical lowest of 14th in 2013 because the access to information has becoming more and more limited. Within the Printing press and publication industry in Malaysia (Refer 3. 0), related parties would be subjected to few legislations enacted by government to administer the (PAPA) (Act 301) is a direct legal enforcement specifically implemented for printed media. Besides that, Sedition Act 1948 are frequently applied when dealing with dispute of censorship in printed media.
On the other hand, freedom of expression offered in Judicial systems is available under Article 10 in Constitution of Malaysia. 2. 1 Printing Presses and Publication Act 1984 (Act 301) (PAPA) Its former self is known as Printing Ordinance 1948, which is introduced by British colonial government into Malaysia during the beginning of state of emergency to counteract the threat on the establishment arising from the Communist activities 3.
Subsequently, the act becomes Printing Presses and publication act at year 1971 via amendments and incorporation of Imported Publications Act 1958 (Act 63) to prevent the provocation of racial sensitivities after the race riots 0 Freedom House, ‘Malaysia’ (Freedom House, 2012) accessed 22 October 2013 1 1 Article 19, Malaysia: Joint submission to the UN universal periodic review’ (Article 19, 11 March 2013) accessed 12 October 2013 12 Reporters without borders, ‘2013 World press freedom index: dashed hopes after spring’ (Reporters without borders, 2013) accessed 22 October 2013 13 Jimmy, ‘The Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 (PAPA)’ (CUE, 25 September 2010) accessed 10 October 2013 14 ibid of 196914. Further amendments are made to enhance the power of legislation and become today’s Printing Presses and Publication Act 1984 (Act 301). The general purpose of the act is punitive measure to public immaturity, potential racial conflict, and national security.
It has reconciled the use of printing process, the printing, production, reproduction and distribution of publications, and the importation of publication from abroad 5. Within the Act, there are few notable sections that greatly expand the power of censorship as well as the responsibility of Minister, which are shown as below: Figure 1: Assessment on specific proviso in PAPAYA Section 3 – internal security Minister (Minister of home affairs) has absolute secretion in granting or refuses; revoke or suspended a license at any time and reasons, for a limited period. The common practices under this section are to issue license annually. Along with granting a license, minister may impose additional conditions such as deposits, which may be forfeited when an offence under the Act is committed.
Section AAA – Juridical parties do not have any powers in questioning the decisions made by minister. Section 7(1)- Home Affairs Minister has the qualification to ban the publication of any book. The provision does not provide a clear and objective reasons on possible bans: publication which he is satisfied contains any article, caricature, photograph, report, notes, writing, sound, music, statement or any other thing which is likely to be prejudiced to public order, morality, security, the relationship with any foreign country or government, or which is likely to alarm public opinion, or which is likely to be contrary to any law or is otherwise prejudicial or is likely prejudicial to public interest or national interest. 5 caps, Media Freedom (CAPS, 3 June 2013) accessed 21 October 2013 16 corny, ‘The Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 (n 13) Article 8(1) – minister had the secretion to define offences through classifying it as publishing malicious “false news”. Action will take on any press outlet or publication when their writings are deemed as not taking “reasonable measures” to verify the truth of the news. Article 8 has been used frequently on critics, which successfully invoked against, 1998 – Limit Guan Eng (from TAP), for his criticism of the statutory rape case involving former Malice Chief Minister, Ihram Thumb Chick. 2003 – Irene Fernando (activist), for exposing the maltreatment of illegal migrant workers in detention camps. However the conviction was overturned on technicality in 2008 2005 – Khalid’s Safari, who authored the book 50 Dali Meaning Inward Taiga Bole Jade PM 2. Malaysian Sedition Act 1948 The Sedition Act is enacted along with PAPA in 1948, serving similar purposes with PAPAYA. It is deemed to be copy of Sir James Stephens definition of what is and what is not seditious during British collaborations. Despite the communist insurgency has ended, but the Sedition Act continues to be used with full force today. As the 513 incident occurred in 1969, amendments were made through Emergency Ordinance 971 to criminals any doubts noon: Part Ill (on citizenship), Article 152 (on national language), Article 153 (on the special positions of the Malay and the rights of other races) and Article 181 (the Rulers’ sovereignty) of the Federal Constitution.
Theoretically, sedition should be defined as the crime of revolting or inciting revolt against government or support for an enemy of a country during war time through speeches, publications or 17 curry, ‘The sedition Act 1948’ (CUE, 25 September 2010) 10 October 2013 18 Adman, ‘The Sedition Act (1948)’ Malaysia Today (Malaysia, 23 May 2013) accessed 21 October 013 19 Jellybean Anthony, ‘Seditious tendency? : political patronizing of free October 2013 20 US legal, ‘Sedition law & legal definition’ (US legal, 2013) accessed 11 October 2013 organizational, but sedition does includes conspires to disrupt the legal operation of the government, protest government policy and is beyond expression of an opinion. However, the act is known to favors the prosecutor; meanwhile, many restrictions are imposed on freedom of expression, particularly regarding sensitive political issues. Notably, seditious would not Just to be deemed as a legal but also a lattice issue.
Figure 2: Proviso extracts from Sedition Act 194822 In Section 3, seditious tendency is referred as: – to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against any Ruler or government. – to seek alteration other than by lawful means of any matter by law established. – to bring hatred or contempt to the administration of Justice in the country – to raise discontent or disaffection amongst the subjects – to promote ill-will and hostility between races or classes to question the provisions of the Constitution dealing with language, citizenship, the special privileges of the Malay and of the natives of Saba and Karakas and the sovereignty of the rulers. In Section 4(1), it covers the: -preparation of an action, which would have “a seditious tendency’. Speech and the printing, publishing, selling (or offering for sale), distribution, reproduction or importation of seditious materials. 2. 3 Freedom of Expression under Article 10 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia As extracted: Figure 3: Extract of Article 1023 1 . Subject to Clauses (2), (3) and (4) ” (a) every citizen has the right to freedom of speech and expression; (b) all citizens eave the right to assemble peaceably and without arms; (c) all citizens have the right to form associations. 21 Adman, ‘The sedition Act (1948)’ (n 18) 22 corny, ‘The sedition Act 1948’ (n 17) 23 Jimmy, ‘Article 10 of the Federal Constitution’ (CUE, 24 September 2013) accessed 10 October 2013 2.
Parliament may by law impose ” on the rights conferred by paragraph (a) of Clause (1), such restrictions as it deems necessary or expedient in the interest of the security of the Federation or any part thereof, friendly relations with other countries, public order or morality and extinctions designed to protect the privileges of Parliament or of any Legislative Assembly or to provide against contempt of court, defamation, or incitement to any offence; on the right conferred by paragraph (b) of Clause (1), such restrictions as it deems necessary or expedient in the interest of the security of the Federation or any part thereof, or public order; on the right conferred by paragraph (c) of Clause (1), such restrictions as it deems necessary or expedient in the interest of the security of the Federation or any part thereof, public order or morality. 1) may also be imposed by any law relating to labor or education. 4. In imposing restrictions in the interest of the security of the Federation or any part thereof or public order under Clause (2) (a), Parliament may pass law prohibiting the questioning of any matter, right, status, position, privilege, sovereignty or prerogative established or protected by the provisions of Part Ill, Article 152, Article 153 or Article 181 otherwise than in relation to the implementation thereof as may be specified in such law. Dry.
Shad Salem Affair stated that the ‘freedom’ under this article is fairly weak, armorial due to “Sensitive Matters Amendment”24 that allowed parliament to enforce restrictions on eight grounds – ‘public order, national security, incitement and offence, friendly relations with other states, contempt of court, contempt of Parliament, defamation, morality’25. From other perspective, it is perceived that ‘freedom’ has already been weakened during drafting stage, which subsequently failed to ensure any restriction imposed on fundamental liberties are ‘reasonable’ inside the final drafted. 24 ibid (n 23) 25 Shad Salem affair, ‘Much to cheer in book ban decision’ The Star (Malaysia, 10 February 2010) accessed 22 October 2013 26 Jimmy, ‘Article 10 of the Federal Constitution’ (n 23) 2. 4 Analysis: violation on freedom of expression caused by censorship The implementation of PAPA is mainly used in dealing with licensing of publications.
Under this act, much discretion power has been given to the minister to administer the contents that are allowed to be published. Although implementation of licensing on print media do not breach freedom of expression under international laws, but it is subjected to criteria below: 1 . There is no discretion to refuse license, once the requisite information has been revived; 2. The system does not impose substantive conditions upon the print media; 3. The system is not excessively onerous; and 4. The system is administered by a body which is independent of government. Obviously, PAPA are not qualified to meet criteria above as referred to its section 3, 7(1), 9(1) and AAA.
International law would also allow restrictions on freedom of expression, yet it only applicable under conditions that such restrictions are provided by law, whereby the law should be accessible and not excessively vague. In contrast with international laws, Centre of independence Journalism (CUE) expressed that many he international test regarding restrictions on freedom of expression. Figure 4: International test on Sedition Act 194830 Firstly, the crime of sedition in Malaysia is extremely ambiguous to meet the standard. Both “sedition” and “seditious tendency’ are loosely defined and subjective terms such as “hatred”, “contempt”, “discontent”, “feelings of ill-will” and “disaffection” are used without any precise definition.
Secondly, in legitimacy test states that restrictions are only permitted on basis of fundamental right for the purpose of protecting certain aims, namely the rights or petitions of 28 Toby Mendel, Restricting Freedom of Expression: Standards and Principles (Centre for Law and Democracy, 16 September 2010) accessed 25 October 2013 29 Article 19, ‘Memorandum on the Malaysian sedition act 1948’ (Article 19, July 2003) accessed 1 November 2013 30 Jimmy, ‘The Sedition Act 1948’ (n 17); Article 19, ‘Memorandum on the Malaysian sedition act 1948’ (n 29) others, national security or public order (order public), or public health or morals. Restrictions merely based on incidentally effect one of the legitimate aims listed would be regarded as insufficient. Lastly, for the necessity test, restrictions only can be permitted on legitimate objectives, which needs to be proportionate to outweighs the harms on freedom of expression or Justified by the benefits accrued.
There should be no rational relationships found between maintaining the public order and the crime of sedition. In fact, public order could suffers when governments are shielded from criticism. In short, both Sedition Act and PAPA are crowned with considerable power to administer printed media as it’s granted with excessive discretion and its border of supremacy is further expanded with the supports from ambiguous proviso. The restrictions imposed in Malaysia are mainly targeted at the freedom of expression, unlike the international practices of restricting the restrictions that restrict the freedom of expression. Unfortunately, Article 10 does not voice out the ‘true’ freedom as it is bound to restrictive measure that stipulated in so, 3 and 431.
Observations show that the statements applied in these provisions share a similarity to what was written in Sedition Act. As a result, both Sedition Act and PAPA do not conflict with the constitution of Article 10, which make both legislations are legally Just in dealing tit freedom of expression. However, the legally equitable would only remain within the plain text of legislation. Proof. Dry. Andrew Aerie stated that mainstream media, such as print media have failed in their roles to inform and educate the public as well as interrogating the powered, which basically caused by the ‘equitable’ Sedition Act and PAPA. He further stated that civilized society recognize human beings as sentinels who are by authoritarian laws.
Malaysia’s authoritative censorship have been infamous across internationals, treated as an infringement against the motto of United Nation (UN) charter and the f the Federal Constitution’ (n 23) 31 corny, ‘Article 10 32 Borneo post, ‘Abolish printing press and publication act’ (Borneo Post, 1 April 2011) accessed 18 October 2013 33 Borneo post, ‘Abolish printing press and publication act’ (n 2) 34 Lee shih-Ian, ‘UN tells Malaysia to abolish death penalty, respect religious practices and human rights’ The Malaysian Insider (Malaysia, 25 October 2013) accessed 1 November 2013 35 Lee shih-Ian (n 34) universal declaration of human right. Prime Minister has been urged by United States and other UN members to keep his promise in abolishing these restrictive laws. ) A political cartoonist Gullible Inward Haste, also known as Suzan is frequent target of Home Affair Ministry for his political sensitive works. Police have seized dozens copies of his book on the accusation of “prejudicial to public order” under Sedition Catch. Several compilations of his cartoons are banned too under PAPA ruling.
Suzan has attempted to counter-attack by filing a Judicial review along with Malaysian, but the High Court in Koala Lump upheld the ban in July 201137. Again, Suzan challenged the government on the Sedition Act in later years and unsurprisingly received a lost. II) Historically, the Sedition Act has been invoked on those critical of the government, including the capability to suspend members of parliament’s parliamentary immunity. As recent as year 2009, the law has been one of the main measures used to arrest those opposed to the BAN takeover of the Perk state governmental. Ill) Journalists will be sentenced for publishing “false news” under PAPA, but if both PAPA and Sedition couldn’t dampen criticism, officials can resort to curb it with very powerful Internal Security Act.
Government claims it is encourage self-censorship among Journalists. V) In Memorandum by Malaysian Demanding Press Freedom 2010, 3 out of 8 major violation of Press Freedom in past 52 weeks are related to print media, which includes: 1) “Inaccurate Report” by “China Press” on ‘Gasp resignation, which is clarified that its retirement is at September. 2) A New Publication Guidelines for Newspapers are elaborated but ambiguously worded 36 Bob Dietz, ‘No Joke: Malaysian October 2013. 37 ibid (n 36) 38 Report without borders, ‘Another court sides with Malaysian government against political cartoonist’ (IBEX, 12 November 2013) accessed 16 November 2013. 9 Jimmy, The sedition Act 1948′ (n 17) 40 Bob Dietz, ‘No Joke: Malaysian cartoonist stands up to government’ (n 36) 41 Margin, ‘Stop political intervention, self-censorship in media industry’ (Lira, 10 June 2010) accessed 3 November 2013 guidelines were framed as “self-regulation”. The newspapers were reportedly instructed not to cover news related to cohabitation, adultery, homosexuality, counter-culture; and no graphics of human genitalia and G-strings. 3) Confiscation of Books l) “Malaysian Maverick: Mathis Mohammad in Turbulent Times” were confiscated and anted for short periods, contends that the fourth prime minister was responsible for losses of OROMO billion during his term in office. II) “Where Is Justice” and “1 Funny Malaysia” – published by “Malaysian” while written and drawn by Suzan.
Regardless of all these issues, courts’ decisions and their interpretation on both legislations remained as the primary references in evaluating the extent of freedom of expression. Entities are often being charged under both PAPA and Sedition Act by the public prosecutor for any printed article that regarded as unacceptable. In the ease of Public Prosecutor v Pun Chin Chignon , where the supreme court held that “false news” will not be Justified under Section 8(1) if the accused are capable to prove its efforts in verifying the truth of the news. Otherwise, freedom of expression would be restricted under Article 10(2)(a) if breached against section 8(1). In a similar case of Deputy Public Prosecutor of Malaysia v.
Irene Fernando, its publication of report entitled “Abuse, Torture and Diminished Conditions of Migrant Workers in Detention Centers” are charged under Section 8 (1) of PAPA as well. Mrs… Urine’s civil sights are restricted as the court condemned that the reports are providing maliciously false information. It is only to be reversed by High Court Judge Mohammad Panic All after the 13 years old court battle. Both cases have illustrated that extensive proofs are needed to escape from the restrictive measures raised by the prosecutor under PAPA. Besides that, in the case Limit Guan Eng v Public Prosecutor, the appellant (Limit Guan Eng) is charged under both PAPA and Sedition Act regarding two different issues.
The ‘false news’ distributed in the form of pamphlet is upheld by court as luscious information, due to the fact that 19941 MAMMAL 42 43 The public eye awards, ‘Irene Fernando’ (The public eye awards, 2009) accessed 28 October 2013 44 Fide, ‘Ms. Irene Fernando finally acquitted! ‘ (fled, 25 November 2008) accessed judge has chosen the dictionaries that defined the key term ‘mangos debarkation’ that in favors of Section 8(1). Besides, the court clarified that protection will not be accorded to anyone charged under the Sedition Act [Article 63(4)], which overthrown the Article 63 (1) & (2). Appellant are unable to rely on reasonable efforts in verifying the truth as the Judge relied on Record of Parliamentary Debates of the House of Representatives as admissible evidence to ascertain this issue.
For the charge on Sedition Act, appellant loses his ground as Judgment favors the statement of KIP Stanley Lie made, which is corroborated by two other police officer, Karri Budding and Inspector Look Yoke Choc. Appellant are not able to prove that statement as uncorroborated. It is key evidence in determining whether the appellant’s speech contained seditious words regarding the non-prosecution of an ledge rape case involving Tan Sir Ihram Thumb Chick. According to Melanin bin Abdullah & Nor v Public Prosecutor, the case has illustrated a circumstances where the publisher has a clear sign of opposing both constitutions and sedition acts.
Tutu’s Namely as a newspaper publisher has published a talk given by prominent Malay leader and Member of Parliament with the sub-heading of ‘Abolish Tamil or Chinese medium schools in this country’. The outrageous statements, has breached several provisions that enacted to protect public order and racial stability. Without any dissent, the court held the news as editions under Sedition Act so(1)(f) in accordance with violation of Article 152 (l)(a) & (b). Besides that, Article 10 so is applicable in restricting the freedom of expression, which aligned with Article 152, Article 153 or Article 181 . 2. 5 Final Comments Although the legislations enacted does not define or express the term ‘censorship’, but the practices conducted by the authorities are indeed exhibited the nature of censorship itself.