Action against Malaysiakini is detrimental to freedom of speech

Malaysiakini goes to the Federal Court today to defend against contempt proceedings initiated against it by the Attorney-General. The alternative news portal and its editor-in-chief Steven Gan are being sued over readers’ comments on its website regarding the judiciary.

In a show of solidarity with Malaysiakini, Member of Parliament for Kulai, Teo Nie Ching appeared at the Federal Court earlier this morning. She emphasized that media owners or Facebook account holders should not be held responsible for readers’ comments, and that this wasn’t limited to Malaysiakini alone.

Doing otherwise would be detrimental towards freedom of speech.

However, she also stressed that social media users should be careful and responsible when leaving comments on social media. In fact, action should be taken against those who deliberately post inflammatory comments to incite certain sentiments.

Nie Ching isn’t the first to express concern over these proceedings. Last month, DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng stated the same stance. “While some of the comments are abhorrent in nature and should not be condoned, the AG must not attempt to penalise Malaysiakini or Steven Gan for those comments.”  

“Act against those who made the irresponsible comments but not against a news portal that did not endorse those views,” he said.

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