Freedom of Expression

Amend/Abolish Suppressive Laws to Empower Freedom of Expression

Oleh

Lew Guan Xi

Oleh

~

Kod Dasar:

2a Freedom of Expression

Anti-fake news law and Sedition Act 1948 should be abolished to stop suppressing freedom of expression. Amendments should be made on Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, Official Secrets Act 1972, and Communication and Multimedia Act 1998 by adding in clearer guideline on what are allowed and what are prohibited. For example, in Communication and Multimedia Act 1998, which words and phrases can be considered as offensive should be added in to be more specific and less arbitrary. The Malaysian Media Council should also be formed to allow self-regulation of the media to empower press freedom and social responsibility. I hereby urge all media practitioners to stand up and start publishing content related to what is stated above to raise public awareness and push the government to apply changes to current policies.

Arts as Priority in the National Agenda

Oleh

June Tan

Oleh

ReformARTsi

Kod Dasar:

2a Freedom of Expression

We demand that arts be placed as a priority in the national agenda and is recognised as an important element of national development, and not merely utilised as an economic tool (tourism, real-estate, retail and others) This would entail:

• Developing a contemporary Arts and Cultural policy and roadmap based on inclusive, diverse consultation with a broad range of stakeholders including but not limited from the arts, civil societies, education, and others; and the accountable implementation of the policy via effective programmes and incentives.

• Funding support for both public and private institutions involved in the development of the arts and culture (including community projects)

• Funding support and mechanism to provide for the social security of freelance artists; and the need for the national registry of artists.

• Allocation of resources (funding, training) to expand arts education in the national education system (from primary to tertiary)

• Recognition of the rights of artists and the protection of their freedom of expression.

Malaysian Audiences Should Be Empowered To Choose

Oleh

Bilqis Hijjas

Oleh

ReformARTsi

Kod Dasar:

2a Freedom of Expression

All publicly-accessible artistic content in Malaysia should be regulated with content ratings (i.e. Parental Guidance 13, Mature Content 18, Restricted 21) established around a single set of clear and explicit guidelines. The ratings should be self-applied and made public by the artists involved, rather than requiring onerous and time-consuming licensing; penalties should be imposed only upon defaulters. This will allow local audiences to opt-in voluntarily with informed consent about the material that they consume. It will increase public confidence in consuming local performing arts, and support the local arts industry. It will also enable local artists and intellectuals to develop richer, more mature work of an international standard which targets particular audience segments.

Performances Should Not Be Censored by City Council

Oleh

Bilqis Hijjas

Oleh

ReformARTsi

Kod Dasar:

2a Freedom of Expression

The Entertainment (Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur) Act 1992 should be amended, following consultation with a broad range of stakeholders including artists and representatives of civil society. Ideally, the Act should be repealed in its entirety; any oversight of the content of artistic performances in Kuala Lumpur should be enforced through othe means already at the government’s disposal. If not repealed, then the Act should be amended so that the Commissioner is not given sole discretion to grant or revoke licenses: a responsive and transparent system of appeals should be instituted which includes stakeholders as an equal voice in the decision-making process. The requirement for deposits should be abolished or the amount of deposit substantially reduced. The guidelines and process of granting licenses should be made clear and explicit, through townhall discussions and city council publications.

Satire is Not a Crime

Oleh

Bilqis Hijjas

Oleh

ReformARTsi

Kod Dasar:

2a Freedom of Expression

S. 233(1) of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) 1998, the Sedition Act 1948, and S. 504 and 505(b) of the Penal Code should be removed/replaced entirely. If this is impossible, the Acts should be amended to explicitly state that political satire and parody is exempt from penalties imposed by the Act.

University Discourse Should Be Free and Transparent

Oleh

Bilqis Hijjas

Oleh

ReformARTsi

Kod Dasar:

2a Freedom of Expression

Societies and faculties of public universities in Malaysia should be allowed to organize talks, debates, and other campus events without arbitrary oversight or risk of cancellation by other university bodies such as religious centres. There should be clear guidelines of the chain of command in universities which determines who is authorised to cancel an event and on what grounds. There should be a responsive and transparent system of appeal, addressed to a panel of representatives including university students and faculty, to respond to requests to cancel events. Finally, the Universities and University Colleges Act 1971 (UUCA) should be abolished in its entirety, as it continues to encourage a culture of fear on local campuses and stifle student voices.