Press Statement By Michael Kong:
We are slowly but surely heading back to the dark ages. Previously, there was a blatant attempt to stiffle our freedom of speech by the BN government through the Anti-Fake News Act 2018. Fortunately, the PH Government successfully repealed the Anti-Fake News Act on 19.12.2019. Although during the time of the PH Government there were a lot of fake news spreading around such as Tabung Haji being sold and/or managed by the Chinese, there were no actions taken because the PH Government respects each individual’s right accorded under the Federal Constitution.
After the 14th General Elections, we saw the demise of BN when its traditional partners i.e. GPS left it on the lurch with whatever remnants it was left with. Now we see the resurrection of BN through the newly formed PN; the only exception is that they have now included PAS as part of the coalition. The scary part is that PN is a more regressive and racist monster than its predecessor.
The latest announcement concerning the production of video consent by Saifuddin Abdullah, the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia is another attempt by the PN Government to silence the people. This new requirement applies to everyone who intends to record and publish videos regardless of its quality, length and content.
Based on his annoucement, any person producing video content, even for personal use on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or TikTok will be subject to the requirement to obtain a license from FINAS. There is also the requirement that only companies with a paid-up capital of RM50,000 each is allowed to apply for this licence. This affects everyone, from those who vlogs, upload Facebook/Insta stories, create short video clips, run Facebook live businesses and many more.
Not only is this move a restriction of our fundamental freedom, it is also impedes and stunts artistic growth. Art is important to us because in any form, art can give people emotions that can lift up their spirit. Creative expression can also make a powerful contribution to the art of healing such as cancer and palliative care.
Saifuddin Abdullah has since attempted to pacify his critics by ‘clarifying’ his earlier comments but we are not fooled by this backtracking. PN may have hit a stumbling block this time round but past actions show that more things of similar nature are to come.
We must continue to say no to this GPS+UMNO+PAS alliance which continues to find ways to silence us. GPS especially SUPP may have lost their voice after joining PN, but we the people shall raise our voices louder than ever.