Govt to get parental feedback on negative internet content

(Bernama) PUTRAJAYA, 13 Aug 2009: The government is conducting a study to get views and suggestions from parents on the impact of negative materials in the internet.

Information Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said the study, by the Malaysian Commmunications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) with the cooperation of the National Security Council, was expected to be ready in three months.

"We want to look at how parents react to the extreme display of child pornography in the net, internet gambling, and postings that can encourage terrorism," he told reporters after launching the new look of the Ahlan newspaper, the only Arabic newspaper in Malaysia, here today.

Rais said there were calls for this study to be done and it was only fair that every nation in the world study its internet access from time to time.

"But it's got nothing to do with censorship," he said, adding that the existing laws such as the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 could deal with those involved in fraud, pornography or broke other provisions of the law.

Rais also reminded all the media in this country that they had a clear social responsibility and must operate within the law.

"Although there have been criticisms against such laws as the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 and the Sedition Act 1948, we must face the reality that these laws are necessary to protect the country.

"But if there are views that these laws must be reviewed and amended, the aim must be pursued in a proper manner so as not to disrupt harmony, and it is up to the relevant ministries to re-examine these laws.

"If the Internal Security Act (ISA) is being reviewed for the future, there is the possibility that other laws may undergo the same process. But there must be some check-and-balance mechanisms for the government in the interest of public order and national security," he said.