Published: Saturday August 11, 2012 MYT 7:20:00 PM
BN MPs to ask govt to review recent Evidence Act amendments
By MARTIN CARVALHO
KUALA LUMPUR: Several Barisan Nasional MPs will submit a request to the Government to review the recent controversial amendments to the Evidence Act.
Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin, who is also Umno Youth chief, said that he would be taking the matter up with Minister in charge of Parliamentary Affairs Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz about the possibility of rectifying the contentious provisions under the recent amendments.
"The amendments have raised concerns particularly on restrictions on Internet freedom and the issue of the burden of proof amongst some quarters.
"We will request that a review be carried out to see if the provision concerned could be amended," he told reporters at Quran Al-Khatam and Tadarus ceremony at Masjid As-Syakirin on Saturday.
He said several Barisan MPs would support moves to make the necessary amendments.
He noted that concerns were voiced by several lawmakers in Parliament earlier this year but the matter was not fully debated prior to the amendments owing to time constraints.
He noted that Deputy Higher Education Minister Saifuddin Abdullah had contacted him over the issue, which was raised at a Bar Council forum on Friday night.
Saifuddin described the amendments as 'a hiccup' towards the Prime Minister's transformation programme as it could restrict Internet freedom.
The amendment was passed in April this year and gazetted on June 31 amidst complaints by some lawmakers about the lack of time for proper debate.
The issue centers around Section 114A that detractors claim would give the authorities greater power to charge those facilitating criminal comments on the Internet even if the comments were made by others.
Also contentious is that those charged will have to disprove their alleged wrong doings although the criminal comments posted may be work of hackers under fake accounts.
The Centre for Independent Journalism Malaysia (CIJ) is calling on netizens to participate in an Internet Blackout Day on Aug 14 to create awareness over the issue.