The Star Online
Published on: Wednesday July 8, 2009
By LEE YUK PENG
SPECIAL units have been set up under both the Home and Information, Communications and Culture ministries to monitor blogs and ensure that their content adhere to local laws.
Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, who is in charge of the communications portfolio, said both ministries would also exchange information to ensure maximum monitoring.
Besides monitoring, Dr Rais said his ministry also held meetings and dialogues with bloggers and website operators to inform them about government policies.
"We will inform them about the various laws that they should be aware of when they blog, especially those relating to racial harmony and national security.
"We also remind them about the existence of legislation such as the Sedition Act, Defamation Act and Internal Security Act," he said.
Earlier, he told both Shamsudin Mehat and Datuk Dr Yeow Chai Thiam that the Government would adopt an "open approach" towards the new media.
"The Government encourages people to use the Internet to search for information and knowledge as this helps to increase the broadband usage in the country," he said.
Dr Rais said the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission also organised programmes to promote awareness on proper usage of the Internet, such as cyberspace security, publication of articles, interviews in the electronic media and advertisements.
To a question from Ahmad Hussin on whether the Government intended to draw up a code of ethics for bloggers as they had the power to unite or wreck society, Dr Rais said the Home Ministry would monitor the bloggers under the Printing and Publications Act.
"My ministry will monitor these blogs under the Communications and Multimedia Act," he said.