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The 2 Must Know MCMC Laws that Regulate the Contents in Your Blog or Website

October 27th, 2009 · 9 Comments

Shocked young boy reacting to info on a laptop computer photo

Few weeks ago, I received a call from a lady (very well educated) who wanted to buy the Blogging & Law DVD from my company.

Since I will be around in PJ (she lives there as well) the next day, as such, I suggested to pass a copy of her ordered DVD to her personally.

When I met her, I found that she was in fact buying the said DVD for her son as her son is a blogger and she wanted her son be aware of his rights and liablities in cyberspace especially when comes to blogging activities.

This made me felt that many Malaysian bloggers (or those who care about their love one, as in this case) are responsible one. They are keen to know what content they should write and what they shouldn’t write.

As such, I think Malaysian bloggers MUST know the below 2 provisions of law under the famous Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (MCMC Act):

1. section 211 of the MCMC Act

“211. Prohibition on provision of offensive content.

(1) No content applications service provider, or other person using a content applications service, shall provide content which is indecent, obscene, false, menacing, or offensive in character with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any person.

(2) A person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding fifty thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to both and shall also be liable to a further fine of one thousand ringgit for every day or part of a day during which the offence is continued after conviction..”

I am not sure if there is any blogger/webmaster being charged under this section. Please do share with me if you come across any case where blogger is charged under this section.

I think for those porn bloggers, if they are cought then they could be charged under this section by providing obscene content in their blogs.

2. section 233 of the MCMC Act

“233. Improper use of network facilities or network service, etc.

(1) A person who-

(a) by means of any network facilities or network service or applications service knowingly-

(ii) initiates the transmission of,

any comment, request, suggestion or other communication which is obscene, indecent, false, menacing or offensive in character with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass another person; or

(b) initiates a communication using any applications service, whether continuously, repeatedly or otherwise, during which communication may or may not ensue, with or without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any person at any number or electronic address,

commits an offence.

(2) A person who knowingly-

(a) by means of a network service or applications service provides any obscene communication for commercial purposes to any person; or

(b) permits a network service or applications service under the person’s control to be used for an activity described in paragraph (a),

commits an offence.

(3) A person who commits an offence under this section shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding fifty thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to both and shall also be liable to a further fine of one thousand ringgit for every day during which the offence is continued after conviction.”

1st case – 6 Bloggers Charged for Insulting Sultan of Perak (March 2009)

This s.233 of MCMC Act was 1stly used to charge 6 bloggers for insulting Perak Sultan in relation to the “Perak Crisis“.

“This is the 1st case in Malaysia where bloggers were charged under s.233 (as opposed to offences under ISA, Sediction Act or Dafemation)” said Malacca lawyer, Nizam Basir at eLawyer Law Conference 2009 at the law faculty of University of Malaya.

If you think further, is this provision covered SMS content sent via mobile phone? or emails that pushed to your Blackberry? as both involve mobile phone devices as oppose to computer. Please refer to the definition of “network facilities” under MCMC Act.

“network facilities” means any element or combination of elements of physical infrastructure used principally for, or in connection with, the provision of network services, but does not include customer equipment;”

2nd case – Blogger Charged for Posting Offensive Materials to Annoy his Former Employee (July 2009)

KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 (Bernama) — A former EON Bank Berhad employee pleaded guilty in the Sessions Court here Monday over
the posting of an obscene blog title to embarrass his former boss.

Seah Boon Khim, 26, was accused of posting a vile and indecent material on a blog site http://www.xanga.com/hokongchan67 with intent to annoy Eon Bank Internal Audit Department head Ho Kong Chan at 1.33pm on Aug 13 2007 at 19 A-26-3 Level 6, UOA Centre 19, Jalan Pinang here.

He was charged under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 which carries fine up to RM50,000 or jail up to one year or both.

In mitigation, Seah, who has since resigned from his job, said he had apologised to Ho and admitted that he did not realised the gravity of his action and he should not have done it.” News from Bernama.

In case you don’t already know, iqnorance of law is not an excuse or defence when you are found guilty of an offence.

In view of the above 2 provisions, if someone posting offensive / false information about you online, you may lodge a report to the Complaint Bureau of MCMC. If you are not sure as to how to draft the complaint, my friend, Cheng Leong, has drafted a sample complaint letter on his blog for your reference.

Tags: Internet Law · Malaysian Cyber Law

9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 kusut // Oct 29, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    Hi Eddie.

    i just wanna ask for the difinion and penalties of plagiarism under the Malaysian law. been looking for article about it online but kinda have problem understanding it
    hope u can help me out. thanks :)

  • 2 Eddie Law // Oct 29, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    kusut – you may find your answer in Copyright Act 1987 http://www.parlimen.gov.my/actindexbi/pdf/a332.pdf

  • 3 kusut // Oct 30, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    thanks ^_^

  • 4 chokilala // Oct 30, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    hi eddie. if possible, i’d like to have that dvd too. how can i get it and how much does it costs? thanks

  • 5 Eddie Law // Nov 1, 2009 at 9:51 am

    chokilala – it cost RM38 and you may visit http://www.elawyer.com.my/blog/dvd-for-the-blogging-law-conference-2009/ for the ordering process.

  • 6 Ana // Jun 17, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    Hi Addie, wanna know if being blackmail on personal picture or video.. how could this cyberlaw protect us. can this criminal be caught?

  • 7 Customer Support Geek // Jun 24, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Nice that you have this and able to share it. I want to be aware with the US laws and regulations for bloggers too.

  • 8 Marie // Apr 21, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Hi Eddie, juz wanna ask,if someone wrote on his facebook status and indicate my facebook ‘s name over there and he tried to attack me using words like “karma will hit you,everybody is laughing at you.” is there anything or any law that i can bring on him? whatever he said on the status has bring a lot of inconvenience in my life.

  • 9 Ibrahim Lim // Jan 16, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I think this is a very important site and what we can complaints if we have any suspecious site or email that we received like conman or such a demanding money laundering to be send to the person as the baits or cheating the young or old peoples in Malaysia. We must always create an awareness for our children and adults. So that we can help the police to fight the internet crimes as now still increasingly and dangerously.

    Very concerned Person!
    Ibrahim Lim – BN for ALL.

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