(The Star) - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak tweeted that he has asked the Cabinet to discuss a controversial amendment to the Evidence Act 1950 in view of an online protest on Internet Blackout Day Tuesday.
“Whatever we do we must put the people first,'' he said in a Twitter message on Tuesday.
Najib is presently in Mecca for the two-day Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Extraordinary Summit beginning Tuesday.
Meanwhile, several popular websites sported a different look to campaign against the controversial amendment.
Black pop-ups greeted visitors to these sites who were told the recently gazetted Section 114(a) of the Act threatened their rights as Internet users.
The campaign drew support from Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Senator Gan Ping Sieu who called for the amendment to be reviewed.
Gan said the new law would “cause hardship to innocent agents caught up in a case of Internet abuse, such as hacking, identity theft or even pranks such as Tweet-jacking'”, as well as Internet service providers like cyber cafes,
“For example, if an irresponsible individual comes to my Facebook page and posts a defamatory message or hate remark, will I be held responsible even though the comments did not originate from me?” asked the MCA vice-president.
Bloggers such as The Star columnists Marina Mahathir and Niki Cheong also took part in Internet Blackout Day, with banners saying “Stop 114A”.
News portals Malaysiakini and Free Malaysia Today as well as the Bar Council too put the pop-ups on their websites.
Even businesses including mobile88.my blacked out their websites while scores of Internet users changed their profile pictures on Twitter and Facebook to the “Stop 114A” button.
Some, including DAP politician Lim Kit Siang and lawyer Edmund Bon, made their stand by going offline completely.
The Internet Blackout Day was coordinated by the Centre for Independent Journalism, Malaysia.
When contacted, CIJ executive officer Masjaliza Hamzah said the response was better than expected.