If the authorities are to impose restrictions on the people, these must be proportionate and reasonanble, former Court of Appeal judge Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof said today.
Speaking at the Role of Media in a Democracy, Ariff said freedom of speech should not be limited by laws on defamation and contempt.
“This is the wrong analysis and not the right approach. One has to evaluate whether the restrictions imposed are proportionate, reasonable and protective of fundamental liberties, or the other way round,” he said.
Ariff (photo) noted the actions taken by the Home Ministry in suspending two publications of The Edge Media Group and described the High Court ruling to lift the suspension last month as a landmark decision.
He also said the people believed that the media was part of the bastion of democracy and that they were now more careful about what is put up on the Internet.
If in the past, he said, the people may have believed that what is put up on the Internet as possibly the truth, but now they were more discerning in filtering such information.
“This shows that there is maturity of thought in the people as they do not believe anything put up, from funny sounding names or pseudonames,”Ariff said.
[More to follow]
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