Thursday, April 12, 2007

No Blogger Registration in Malaysia

The Times of London reports that Malaysia's prime minister has ruled out requiring his country's bloggers to register with the government. Unfortunately, it's not all good news:

Announcing his decision, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi warned bloggers not to publish rumours or offensive remarks, adding that laws to penalise them “will be invoked when the need arises,” the national news agency Bernama reported.

Mr Abdullah’s statement follows suggestions made last week by two government ministers that bloggers whose sites are hosted on local servers should be forced to register with the government.

“Existing laws are sufficient,” Mr Abdullah said. “Even if they are ordered to register, some of them may not comply and resort to using other channels through foreign servers.”

In other words, PM Abdullah is not opposed to the concept of censoring bloggers, he just thinks that registration is an inefficient way of going about it. Sadly, it seems that online free expression in Malaysia isn't quite out of the woods yet.


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