Home Civil Society Voices Dengan penapisan meningkat di Malaysia, Amnesty melancarkan kempen ‘Unsilenced’

Dengan penapisan meningkat di Malaysia, Amnesty melancarkan kempen ‘Unsilenced’

Join us on Telegram and Instagram for the latest.

[ENGLISH VERSION BELOW] Penapisan semakin meningkat di Malaysia, sementara usaha untuk mereformasi undang-undang yang menyekat hak kebebasan berekspresi telah terhenti, kata Amnesty International Malaysia ketika melancarkan kempen Unsilenced.

Dengan galeri catatan, penerbitan dan budaya popular di atas talian yang telah dilarang dan ditapis selama bertahun-tahun di Malaysia, Unsilenced bertujuan untuk meningkatkan kesedaran mengenai kesan negatif penapisan terhadap masyarakat Malaysia, menyoroti contoh serangan terhadap mereka yang lantang bersuara dan menyatakan pandangan, dan memberi inspirasi kepada setiap orang untuk mempertahankan hak kebebasan bersuara.

“Serangan ke atas hak kebebasan bersuara kian meningkat di Malaysia. Undang-undang yang menindas masih wujud, dan semakin ramai orang yang disiasat polis hanya kerana menyatakan pandangan mereka,” kata Katrina Jorene Maliamauv, pengarah eksekutif Amnesty International Malaysia.

“Kempen Unsilenced ini memberi peluang kepada orang ramai untuk bertindak dan menuntut kerajaan untuk memansuhkan undang-undang yang menafikan orang di Malaysia hak untuk bersuara dengan bebas, iaitu Akta Hasutan, Seksyen 233 Akta Komunikasi dan Multimedia (CMA), Akta Penapisan Filem dan Akta Mesin Cetak dan Penerbitan.”

Selepas berlaku pertukaran kerajaan, dua undang-undang yang paling banyak digunakan untuk menyekat hak kebebasan bersuara iaitu Akta Hasutan dan Seksyen 233 CMA, sering digunakan terhadap pembela hak asasi manusia, wartawan dan pengguna media sosial yang mengkritik pemerintah, kerabat diraja atau agama. Minoriti seksual juga menjadi sasaran sekatan kerajaan.

Pada bulan Mei, Menteri Dalam Negeri Hamzah Zainudin mendedahkan bahawa kerajaan telah memulakan 262 siasatan hasutan pada tahun 2020, peningkatan yang dramatik dari 78 penyiasatan yang dimulakan pada tahun 2019, dan lebih dari dua kali ganda dari 31 dari tahun 2018.

Selain itu, sejak awal wabak Covid-19, terdapat 273 penyiasatan yang berkaitan dengan tuduhan berkongsi maklumat palsu di bawah Seksyen 500 dan 505(b) Kanun Keseksaan dan Seksyen 233 CMA.

Pada bulan Ogos, Timbalan Menteri Kewangan Kedua Mohd Shahar Abdullah mempertahankan Akta Hasutan di Parlimen, mengatakan ia masih relevan.

Menurut Menteri Komunikasi dan Multimedia Saifuddin Abdullah, untuk separuh pertama tahun 2020, terdapat 143 siasatan di bawah Seksyen 233 CMA, dengan tujuh kes dibawa ke mahkamah. Sebagai perbandingan, dari awal 2018 hingga Februari 2019, 47 siasatan telah dibuka.

Beliau menulis tweet bahawa kementeriannya sedang “meneliti” Seksyen 233 CMA, tetapi setakat ini tidak ada petunjuk mengenai langkah-langkah konkrit untuk mereformasi undang-undang tersebut atau yang lain yang secara tidak langsung menyekat hak kebebasan bersuara.

“Cadangan baru-baru ini untuk menghidupkan kembali undang-undang Anti Berita Palsu dan ‘unit propaganda’ di Jabatan Hal Ehwal Khas (Jasa) dengan nama baru menimbulkan kekhuatiran lebih lanjut bahawa negara sedang meluncur kembali ke era ketakutan dan penindasan,” kata Katrina.

Masa untuk orang di Malaysia di-Unsilenced

Amnesty International Malaysia akan melancarkan Unsilenced, sebuah kempen bertujuan menuntut kembali hak kebebasan bersuara di negara ini. Dengan sokongan aktivis-aktivis dan personaliti popular, kempen ini akan berlangsung merentas media dan media sosial.

Galeri item yang telah ditapis dan dilarang di Malaysia selama bertahun-tahun akan mengingatkan masyarakat di Malaysia tentang sejarah panjang penapisan dan bagaimana undang-undang yang menindas sekian lama digunakan untuk mengekang hak kebebasan bersuara dan mengawal budaya popular, sebagai contoh:

  • Komedi gelap Martin Scorsese, Wolf of Wall Street tahun 2013 walaupun dibiayai secara tidak langsung oleh rakyat Malaysia melalui dana 1MDB, ironiknya dilarang tayang di negara ini kerana mengandungi penggunaan “bahasa tidak senonoh” dan gambaran seks dan penggunaan dadah
  • Mural Ernest Zacharevic pada tahun 2013 di Johor Bahru yang menggambarkan dua patung Lego – satu perompak dan yang satu lagi membawa beg tangan berjenama ditutup dengan lapisan cat oleh majlis bandaraya yang tidak merasakan bahawa ia suatu perkara yang lucu untuk menonjolkan kadar jenayah yang tinggi di bandar tersebut
  • Pada tahun 2018, potret aktivis LGBT diperintahkan untuk diturunkan di pameran seni, kerana menurut seorang menteri kerajaan, “LGBT masih tidak dapat diterima dan tidak boleh dipromosikan”
READ MORE:  Salleh Ben Joned showed us how to test the parameters

“Dari muzik yang kita dengarkan, filem yang kita tonton, buku yang kita baca, hingga konten yang kita hasilkan dalam talian, kempen Unsilenced akan menyoroti sejauh mana pihak berkuasa telah mengawal pendapat dan idea yang dibenarkan orang untuk dicari dan dikongsi di Malaysia,” kata Katrina.

Organisasi ini juga bekerjasama dengan suara-suara popular untuk memberi kesedaran tentang cara-cara berbahaya di mana undang-undang digunakan secara tidak wajar untuk menyekat hak kebebasan bersuara rakyat Malaysia.

Ketika tindakan keras terhadap kebebasan berekspresi meningkat, tiada kemajuan di dalam usaha untuk memansuhkan undang-undang yang digunakan sewenang-wenangnya untuk menyekat hak ini.

Sebaliknya, dengan kekuatan yang luas dan sifat sewenang-wenangnya, Akta Hasutan, Seksyen 233 dan peruntukannya yang berbeza dari Kanun Keseksaan telah sengaja digunakan untuk membatasi dan menapis kritikan terhadap mereka yang berkuasa.

Undang-undang tersebut tidak mematuhi undang-undang dan piawaian hak asasi manusia antarabangsa, dan melanggar hak kebebasan bersuara dan berhimpun secara aman, yang termaktub dalam Artikel 19 dan 21 Perisytiharan Hak Asasi Manusia Sejagat dan juga dijamin di dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

Amnesty International Malaysia mendesak pihak berkuasa untuk memastikan Akta Hasutan dihapuskan dan undang-undang serupa yang melanggar hak kebebasan bersuara, termasuk Seksyen 233 CMA, dan lain-lain peruntukan Kanun Keseksaan serta Akta Mesin Cetak dan Penerbitan dan Akta Penapisan Filem dimansuhkan atau diubah secara bermakna.

Organisasi ini juga meminta kerajaan untuk meratifikasi Konvensyen Antarabangsa Hak Sivil dan Politik dan instrumen hak asasi manusia lainnya, untuk mendekatkan Malaysia kepada pematuhan standard antarabangsa.

“Sepanjang sejarah negara kita, mereka yang berkuasa sering berusaha untuk mengganggu dan menakut-nakutkan pembela hak asasi manusia, untuk menyekat perbezaan pendapat, menyekat pemikiran kritis, mencekik media dan membuat rakyat Malaysia berada dalam suasana ketakutan,” kata Katrina Jorene Maliamauv.

“Semua individu di Malaysia berhak untuk menikmati hak untuk berfikir, merasa, mencipta, berkongsi, mencari dan mengekspresi diri secara bebas. Kami telah berulang kali berjuang melawan penindasan dan menemui cara untuk terus bersuara dan mengekspresi diri; kita mesti terus menuntut hak kita untuk tidak berdiam diri.”

English version

With censorship on the rise in Malaysia, Amnesty launches Unsilenced campaign

Censorship is increasing in Malaysia, while efforts to reform laws that unduly restrict the right to freedom of expression have stalled, said Amnesty International Malaysia as it launched its virtual campaign, Unsilenced.

With an online gallery of posts, publications and content that have been banned and censored over the years in Malaysia, Unsilenced aims to raise awareness of the negative effects that censorship has on people in Malaysia, highlight examples of attacks on those who freely express their views and inspire everyone to defend the right to freedom of expression.

READ MORE:  Arrested and assaulted, graphic artist Fahmi Reza calls out state censorship

“Attacks on the right to freedom of expression are once again rising in Malaysia. Repressive laws are still on the books, and more and more people are coming under police investigation simply for speaking their minds,” Amnesty International Malaysia’s executive director Katrina Jorene Maliamauv said.

“The Unsilenced campaign gives everyone an opportunity to take action and call on the government to repeal the main laws denying people in Malaysia the right to freely express ourselves, namely the Sedition Act, Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA), the Film Censorship Act and the Printing Presses and Publications Act.”

After the change in government, two of the most widely deployed laws to unduly restrict the right to freedom of expression, the Sedition Act and Section 233 of the CMA, have been frequently used against human rights defenders, journalists and social media users who criticise the government, royalty or religion. Sexual minorities have also been targets of government restrictions.

In May, Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin revealed the government had initiated 262 sedition investigations in 2020, a dramatic increase from the 78 investigations initiated in 2019, and more than double the 31 from 2018.

In addition, since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, there have been 273 investigations related to allegations of sharing false information under Section 500 and 505(b) of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the CMA.

In August, Second Deputy Finance Minister Mohd Shahar Abdullah defended the Sedition Act in Parliament, saying it remained relevant.

According to Communications and Multimedia Minister Saifuddin Abdullah, for the first half of 2020, there were 143 investigations under Section 233 of the CMA, with seven cases brought to court. In comparison, from the beginning of 2018 to February 2019, 47 investigations were opened.

He tweeted his ministry was “looking into” Section 233 of the CMA, but beyond this, there has been no indication of any concrete steps to reform the law or any others that unduly restrict the right to freedom of expression.

“Recent proposals to revive the Anti-Fake News law and the ‘propaganda unit’ at the Special Affairs Department (Jasa) under a new name raise further concerns that the country is sliding back to an era of fear and repression,” Katrina Jorene Maliamauv said.

Time for people in Malaysia to be Unsilenced

Amnesty International Malaysia will be launching Unsilenced a campaign to reclaim the right to freedom of expression in the country. Partnering with activists and popular voices, it will be live across media and social media.

A gallery of items that have been censored and banned in Malaysia over the years will remind people in Malaysia of the long history of censorship and how repressive laws have been used to curtail the right to freedom of expression and to control popular culture, for example:

  • Martin Scorsese’s 2013 dark comedy Wolf of Wall Street, despite being indirectly funded by Malaysians through 1MDB funds, was ironically banned in the country due to its use of ‘profanity’ and the portrayal of sex and drug use
  • Ernest Zacharevic’s 2013 street mural of two Lego figurines in Johor Bahru – one a robber and the other carrying a designer handbag – was painted over by the city council which did not find the depiction of the city’s high crime rate amusing
  • In 2018, portraits of LGBT activists were ordered to be taken down at an art exhibition, as according to a government minister, “LGBTs are still unacceptable and cannot be promoted”
READ MORE:  Arrested and assaulted, graphic artist Fahmi Reza calls out state censorship

“From the music we listen to, films we watch, books we read, to the content we produce online, the campaign Unsilenced will highlight how far the authorities have gone to control the opinions and ideas that people are allowed to seek and share in Malaysia,” Katrina Jorene Maliamauv said.

The organisation is also partnering with popular voices to create awareness of the insidious ways in which laws are being used to unduly restrict the right to freedom of expression for Malaysians.

As the crackdown on freedom of expression increases, there has been no progress on repealing the laws that are being used to arbitrarily restrict this right.

On the contrary, with their wide powers and arbitrary nature, the Sedition Act, Section 233 of the CMA and different provisions of the Penal Code have been intentionally used to limit and censor criticism of those in power.

Thesse laws fail to comply with international human rights law and standards, and violate the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, which are enshrined in Article 19 and 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and guaranteed in the Federal Constitution.

Amnesty International Malaysia is urging the authorities to ensure the Sedition Act is abolished and that similar laws infringing on the right to freedom of expression – including Section 233 of the CMA , and different provisions of the Penal Code as well as the Printing Presses and Publications Act and the Film Censorship Act – are repealed or substantially amended.

The organisation is also calling on the government to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other human rights instruments to bring Malaysia closer to complying with international standards.

“Throughout our country’s history, those in power have too often sought to harass and intimidate human rights defenders, to squash dissent, to stifle critical thought, to strangle the media and to keep Malaysians under a climate of fear,” Katrina Jorene Maliamauv said.

“All individuals in Malaysia deserve to live out our right to think, feel, create, share, seek and express ourselves freely. We have repeatedly stood up against oppression and found ways to express ourselves; we must keep claiming our right to be unsilenced.”

Thanks for dropping by! The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

Our voluntary writers work hard to keep these articles free for all to read. But we do need funds to support our struggle for Justice, Freedom and Solidarity. To maintain our editorial independence, we do not carry any advertisements; nor do we accept funding from dubious sources. If everyone reading this was to make a donation, our fundraising target for the year would be achieved within a week. So please consider making a donation to Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara, CIMB Bank account number 8004240948.
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
1 Comment
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
loyal malaysian
loyal malaysian
8 Dec 2020 5.22pm

Katrina, it is good of Amnesty to promote this Unsilenced campaign.
I hope the Mkini editors and their sidekicks will take heed of the campaign, too.
Hopefully , they will become less frightened of their own shadows!

Most Read

1
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x