Institute of Journalists Malaysia

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IoJ briefing: Sedition and Journalists

Wednesday 17 Sept
The Cybertorium
Menara Star,
Philio Damansara II, Section 16, Petaling Jaya

19:00 – registration of IoJ members – bring your forms – tea and cookies
20:00 – meeting begins
21:00 – Q & A
22:00 – More or less ending time

» Registration: Facebook event page

  • What does the Sedition Act say
  • how does it affect journalists
  • what must reporters and editors be aware of
  • how the law has been applied
  • previous cases involving journalists
  • can we avoid falling foul of the law?
  • measures we can take
  • how has the sedition law affected you?

Speaker: Syahredzan Johan

“The reason why the Sedition Act is still in place is because it is so easy to use against dissidents,” said Syahredzan Johan, the chair of the National Young Lawyers Committee within the Malaysian Bar Council. “The Act is drafted very wide, so any form of dissent can be drafted in. It has a low threshold: there’s no need to prove intention or that anyone was incited. All you need is to prove that those things were published or uttered and you’ve got your conviction.”

» Malaysia’s sedition debate

Two recent cases, a teenager liking the Facebook page “I love Israel” and Universiti Malaya law lecturer Azmi Sharom’s sedition charges, shows how easily it can be abused, said Bar Council president Christopher Leong. The courts had now become a dumping ground for sedition charges, he said, and pointed out the discrepancy in application, which can be interpreted as selective prosecution against dissenters.

» Bar condemns spate of sedition cases


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Who can be members of IoJ

Membership is open to journalists at all levels from reporter or artist to editors-in-chief; that generally includes: reporters, subeditors, photographers, editorial illustrators and cartoonists, producers and presenters in broadcasting, photographers and videographers, whether employed full time, on contract, or who freelance, and whose work is published in:
* newspapers * magazines * radio or television stations * *online newspapers * web sites * news agencies * house journals * trade newsletters
Ordinary:   — those whose main source of income is derived from editorial journalistic work, whether in reporting, writing, editing, photography or videography, or editorial illustrations or editorial cartoons.
Freelance: — those who work full-time as a journalist but are not employed by any organisation
— those employed in other occupations but who produce journalism on an occasional basis, e.g. as citizen journalists, bloggers and videographers.
— academic staff whose area of study is journalism, the media, or related fields.
— those who work in fields related to journalism, such as public relations, advertising, and marketing;
— anyone who supports the aims of the Institute and the cause of free press and free speech generally.
Student: — those enrolled in full-time studies in journalism or related fields at a college or university.
Corporate: — organisations who support the aims of the Institute and the cause of free and independent journalism, freedom of the press and freedom of expression.
Affiliate: — other organisations whose members are journalists or whose activities concern journalism, the mass media, freedom of the press, freedom of expression, human rights and democracy

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