The right of reply

Enough is enough. People who proclaim to fight for freedom of expression and free media but censors other's legitimate reply based on their whims and fancy, must realise that on the internet, they cannot suppress peoples' legitimate right to reply and express contrarian views. This blog welcomes all views. ~ Ellese

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Sometimes I just don’t understand why people like to either purposely mislead the public or proud to show ignorance to the world. Take this article in point. Dr Hsu said:
“The new Evidence Act is a killer. It is meant to stifle freedom of expression on the net. It is something akin to some criminals, who committed a crime in your house, and while the criminals escape, you as the owner of the house is being held responsible.

Say someone came in and robbed patients sitting in my waiting room. while the robber got away, I would be held as responsible for the robbery happening on them. It is ridiculous, and no one would agree to that. Extrapolate this to the Evidence Act, and it is actually the same thing.”
What a load of bull this Dr. Hsu. The example is totally ridiculous.
First, Evidence Act is not a penal act. Theres no crime you can commit under it. It is a procedural act to state who is to prove what and how to prove. Its different from the penal code.
Secondly the intending section tries to assert a presumption of facts which you can rebut. Thus the AG need not prove but for us to rebut. For example section 114 states:
“The court may presume—
(a) that a man who is in possession of stolen goods soon after the theft is
either the thief or has received the goods knowing them to be stolen, unless he
can account for his possession;”
So anyone with stolen goods after a theft is presumed be the thief or receive stolen goods. So the accused is then under an obligation to prove its from someone else. Its not a presumption of an offence but a presumption of facts. You still need to meet the mens rea and actus reus ingredients in the penal offences.
Thirdly, the issue is never about someone who came to dr Hsu’ clinic and then robbing others and then hold dr Hsu accountable. This is misleading whether intentionally or otherwise. The issue is more akin to a robber being expressly allowed to enter the clinic by Dr Hsu and then rob the patient. Say dr Hsu employs a criminal knowingly and the employee commits the crime or worse dr hsu gains benefit from it. In this case why shouldn’t dr Hsu be held responsible?
Similarly in this case. If the blog owner or administrator allows a criminal act on his blog why shouldn’t he be held accountable? He can delete it but if he choses to publish it then ipso facto he have partaken in the crime.
So this is the whole issue. Its not what Dr Hsu says. That to me that is pure bull. The issue we need to answer is whether its possible for AG to prove that crime? If they can, then the onus must be on them to prove. But if they cant, we as Malaysians should not support a criminal act going unpunished. In such a case we then need the presumption like the 114A just like the case of theft under section 114. The next issue is how wide it should be? We want people like Starbucks etc to provide free internet. Man, I need it. And a law discouraging this is to me clearly beyond that is required. Perhaps we should introduce some safeguards for example requiring the like of Starbucks to at least ask the users to register to prevent abuse. These are things we need to consider. You decide where the balance should lie. We can debate.

Dr. Hsu's forum

The cabinet has decided that Section 114A is to stay.

This is despite the fact that power that be as high as the Prime Minister has mentioned publicly that it needs to be reviewed.

In the Malaysian tradition once the Prime Minster has publicly stated that that Section needs to be reviewed, it is really rare to see the whole cabinet of which PM is the head coming to a decision that runs counter to the PM’s.

Reading between the lines, it shows how precarious the PM’s own position is, and that vultures are ready to pounce on him if he does not deliver a better result the next GE. It makes me wonder who is really in charge of the country now.

I wrote about this section on 20th June and I paraphrase a part of it here:

The new Evidence Act is a killer. It is meant to…

View original post 285 more words

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