Sunday, August 2, 2015

The CMA needs to be reviewed to keep up with the times

Salleh Said Keruak

Recent developments have shown that the government will need to review the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA). Malaysians seem to have the impression that the Internet and social media is a lawless domain where anything goes and where there are no rules to follow. That is actually not so.

When the CMA was first enacted in 1998, the government did not envisage how popular the Internet would become and how rapid and widespread the usage of the social media would be. Today, the Internet and social media has become a necessary tool of everyday life that impacts not only the flow of information but finance and commerce as well.

It will not be surprising if in the not too distant future everything will be done entirely on the Internet, as what has happened in some countries where the only way to get things done is on the Internet. Some airlines, for example, insist that travellers use their Internet check-in facility so without the Internet you cannot even travel.

What is of concern is that the popular, and sometimes necessary, use of the Internet has also attracted various Internet crimes such as fraud, data theft, identity theft, and fabrication of false news and fake documents. In many countries this is considered a very serious crime that attracts long jail terms.

While Malaysia will uphold freedom of speech and the right to information, we must also protect Malaysians from libel and slander, plus character assassination. In no country in the world does freedom of speech include the freedom to lie and slander. National security and public order are also of concern and which can be jeopardised if there were no proper controls over what people do and say.

We must, therefore, review the CMA so that we can strike a balance between not stifling free speech and continuing with freedom of information while at the same time protecting Malaysians from criminal acts that appear to have become the trend of late.

We will, of course, obtain the opinion and feedback of those in the industry to ensure that a more holistic approach is achieved so that it meets the objective of all concerned. This is to assure the public that this move is not aimed at stifling free speech or at curtailing the freedom of information.

Friday, July 31, 2015

This is going too far and action will be taken

Salleh Said Keruak

A fake document is being circulated on the Internet and in the social media, which is supposed to be a draft of a charge sheet against Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak that the previous Attorney General was alleged to have been in the midst of preparing. Understandably, because of the implications of such a document, it has now gone viral and many people are talking about the matter.

Sarawak Report, which revealed that document, claims that the draft charge sheet was given to them by inside sources and that it has verified the authenticity of the document with other ‘senior parties’. This means what Sarawak Report is implying is that the document is genuine.

The story that they are attempting to spin is that the Attorney General was going to arrest the Prime Minister on the same day that he was sacked from his job, meaning that this was the reason why the Attorney General was sacked. Such an allegation will definitely upset many people and will make them extremely angry and this may even trigger unrest in the country.

The Attorney General’s Chambers has denied the authenticity of this document. This document is nothing but a fabrication and the whole allegation merely a hoax meant to trigger unrest.

Such actions are very dangerous because this is not just about libel or slander but threatens to cause civil unrest. This matter is already very volatile as it is and all its needs is for people to be fooled into believing the lie for it to escalate and become explosive.

This has now gone beyond politics and involves national security. Action has to be taken to preserve order and to guarantee Malaysians that their security is not being placed in jeopardy.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

With my added duties

Monday, July 27, 2015

This is the lowest blow ever

Salleh Said Keruak

The statement by the Umno Deputy President and Deputy Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin, is that he and the rest of the Umno Supreme Council and Cabinet are totally in the dark about matters surrounding 1MDB. 

Muhyiddin also gave the impression that the only information he has is that which he obtained from the newspapers -- further giving an impression that newspapers such as The Edge should not be suspended since it is a very valuable source of information for the government and if not because of these newspapers even the Deputy Prime Minister would not know what is happening in the country.

This is not only a very mischievous statement meant to create the wrong impression but it also insinuates that the rest of the Cabinet members are total idiots who do not what is happing. What do they discuss at the weekly Cabinet meetings, then, or do the Cabinet members just go to sleep?

I know that matters discussed during the Cabinet meetings are classified and are covered under certain laws that make it a crime to be in possessions of Cabinet papers or to reveal matters discussed during Cabinet meetings. However, I know for a fact that what Muhyiddin is insinuating is not true.

Muhyiddin not only paints a very bleak picture of the Prime Minister but also that of the entire Cabinet, the Deputy Prime Minister included. Is Muhyiddin saying that those Cabinet meetings that he personally chaired were also on the same basis? Is he saying that he is totally in the dark about the Cabinet meetings that he himself chaired?

It is clear that Muhyiddin’s statement yesterday is a disguised vote of no confidence against the Prime Minister for allegedly keeping the entire country in the dark. In that case, the noble and honourable thing for Muhyiddin to do is, just like what Tun Musa Hitam did, to resign to demonstrate that since he no longer has confidence in the Prime Minister then based on principles he can no longer remain in the government.

Friday, July 24, 2015

The picture is becoming clearer: The Edge did deal with Justo

Salleh Said Keruak

I have read comments in the social media by some critics of the government that the Royal Malaysian Police and the Malaysian media cannot be trusted so anything they say must be taken with a pinch of salt.

Well, now we have the leading Singapore newspaper revealing the details of an interview it had with Xavier Andre Justo who is currently in a Thai jail. And what Justo said was based on what he told the Royal Thai Police.

It is now very clear that The Edge did deal with Justo. It appears, however, they were not able to complete the transaction because Justo was arrested before the money could be transferred.

According to Justo, the delay was due to The Edge not being happy with the way the money was going to be transferred, which would leave a paper trail. They wanted to make sure that nothing would be traceable.

Finally it was agreed that the money would be transferred through a ‘middleman’ who would then transfer the money to Justo. This would protect The Edge from any traceable links with Justo. So The Edge already knew that what they were doing was wrong and they wanted to cover their tracks.

The Edge says it never paid Justo anything because it never intended to pay in the first place. Justo says he does not know if the money was actually paid to the ‘middleman’ in the end because he was arrested before he could receive any money. Based on what Justo said there is always a possibility that the ’middleman’ did receive the money and is still holding on to it.

Whatever it may be, even is it is true that The Edge cheated Justo of his money like they said they did, the fact still remains that there were dealings and many negotiations on top of that from the look of things.

The fact that The Edge may have cheated Justo or never intended to pay from the beginning is one thing. That there were dealings between The Edge and Justo is an undeniable fact. And that is what the whole issue is about, not the issue that Justo was cheated of his money.

Bagaimana GHB Di Biayai?

Salleh Said Keruak

Bulan lalu ada sudah ura-ura bahawa DAP telah membiayai 'kumpulan dalam PAS yang cuba menggulingkan para ulama' iaitu puak anti-ulama. Ini telah mewujudkan persepsi bahawa kumpulan ini, yang kini dalam proses menubuhkan Gerakan Harapan Baharu (GHB), menerima sokongan kewangan oleh DAP.

"Soal DAP  mengedarkan dana tidak timbul," The Sun Daily melaporkan Kit Siang sebagai berkata.

Free Malaysia Today, seterusnya, Kit Siang dilaporkan sebagai berkata bahawa DAP juga memerlukan pembiayaan dan sesiapa yang menawarkan sumbangan DAP akan menerima dan persoalan sama ada DAP memberi sumbangan kepada orang lain tidak timbul.

Ini sebenarnya bukan satu penafian mahupun pengesahan tetapi kedengaran lebih seperti isu itu tidak cukup penting untuk dibincangkan. Tetapi ia cukup penting untuk dibincangkan sejak GHB bukan dari satu entiti undang-undang dan subungan itu tidak akan mempunyai akaun bank lagi..

Jadi bagaimana pembiayaan yang dilakukan? Dan siapakah yang membayar wang ini? Oleh kerana ia tidak boleh melalui cek maka ia mestilah dalam bentuk wang tunai atau ia dimasukkan ke dalam akaun penama atau pemegang amanah?

Kata kunci di sini ialah ketelusan , yang merupakan lagu DAP sentiasa menyanyi . Walau bagaimanapun, dari bunyi itu , tidak ada sebarang ketelusan sama ada DAP pembiayaan GHB dan, jika ia adalah, sama ada dana itu dilakukan secara telus dengan butir-butir yang betul dan rekod-rekod perakaunan atau sama ada ia dilakukan secara tidak rasmi melalui penama nominee.

Jika DAP adalah tertakluk kepada standard yang sama bahawa ia menundukkan orang lain , maka kita boleh mengatakan bahawa DAP telah datang dicurigai dan kerana syak wasangka ini DAP kini perlu membuktikan bahawa ia tidak bersalah melanggar mana-mana undang-undang dan telah mengikuti undang-undang dengan cara yang ia adalah pembiayaan GHB , melainkan jika DAP mempunyai bukti bahawa ia tidak membiayai GHB.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

How is GHB being funded?

Salleh Said Keruak

Months ago there was already talk that DAP was funding the anti-ulama’ group within PAS that was trying to oust the ulama’ faction. This has created the perception that this group, who are now in the process of setting up Gerakan Harapan Baharu (GHB), is being financially-backed by DAP.

“The question of DAP going around distributing funds does not arise," The Sun Daily reported Kit Siang as saying.

Free Malaysia Today, in turn, reported Kit Siang as saying that DAP also needs funding and whoever offers donations DAP will accept and the question of whether DAP gives donations to others does not arise.

This is actually neither a denial nor a confirmation but sounds more like the issue is not important enough to discuss. But then it is important enough to discuss since GHB is not a legal entity and therefore would not have a bank account yet.

So how is the funding being done? And who is it that is paying this money? Since it cannot be by cheque then it must be in cash or is it banked into a nominee or trustee account?

The keyword here is transparency, which is the song DAP has been singing. However, from the sound of it, there is no transparency as to whether DAP is funding GHB and, if it is, whether the funding is being done in a transparent manner with proper details and accounting records or whether it is being done unofficially through nominees.

If DAP was subjected to the same standards that it is subjecting others, then we can say that DAP has now come under suspicion and due to this suspicion DAP will now have to prove that it is not guilty of breaching any laws and has followed the law in the way it is financing GHB, unless DAP has evidence that it is not funding GHB.