Malaysian National News Agency

Zainuddin Proposes Classification Of Web Bloggers
May 05, 2007 18:29 PM
KUALA LUMPUR, May 5 (Bernama) -- Information Minister Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin said today Malaysia has to classify web bloggers as professionals and non-professionals as a mechanism to prevent misuse of blog sites.

He said he believed that professional bloggers were those who were more responsible in ensuring that their web content was based on the truth and not rumours.

"This classification will also facilitate the action to be taken against those found to have violated the country's laws," he told a press conference at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), here.

Zainuddin said certain people in the country had misused blog sites for their own interest and that of their groups, including by touching on matters enshrined in the Federal Constitution such as those of a religious nature and others that sparked uneasiness among the multiracial population.

"We have to control this. It is feared that these (blog sites) will be misused by those who have an agenda to spread slander. By right, there should be a mechanism to control this phenomenon, including by classifying web bloggers as professionals and non-professionals," he said.

Zainuddin said this was important in enabling the people to determine whether they could trust a certain matter and whether the blog content was the truth or a rumour that could cause discomfort or undermine unity.

"Placing trust in news based on rumours was a practice that existed before the advent of newspapers but the situation is different today when we have newspapers and television stations to disseminate information," he said.

The minister said that during his recent visit to France, the Chief Executive Officer of the Nice-Matin Press Group, Michel Camboul, had mentioned the need for the French government to classify bloggers and expressed concern over blog sites having an impact on newspaper circulation and the buying of advertisements in newspapers there.

Zainuddin said the Internet had yet to be widely used by the people in Malaysia and if blog sites became an alternative press that forced the shutdown of newspapers, the rural people who depended on newspapers would be denied the right to information.

He reminded web bloggers not to touch on matters that had been agreed upon by consensus by the multiracial population in the country, such as the special position and privileges of the Malays, the Rulers, and Islam, so as to maintain peace and harmony.


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