Minister: Malaysia to look into Internet controls after TPP signed

Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed says the TPP agreement’s contents do not affect the government’s right to filter foreign content including films and magazines. ― File pic
Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed says the TPP agreement’s contents do not affect the government’s right to filter foreign content including films and magazines. ― File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 15 ― The Cabinet will study how it can filter out porn and seditious elements from the Internet after Malaysia signs the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said.

According to the New Straits Times today, Mustapa said that the Cabinet also decided during its meeting on Wednesday that it may introduce controls to social media.

“We feel that at the moment, there is too much freedom on social media and there is a need to review this with the hope of controlling it.

“We decided to study the matter and may impose control to prevent undesirable elements on social media,” he was quoted as saying by NST.

According to local paper Sinar Harian today, Mustapa said that Malaysia’s rights to censor foreign content will not be affected by the TPP.

“The TPP agreement’s contents do not impose conditions on filtering online content, TPP member countries are even barred from doing so. Nevertheless, it doesn’t affect the government’s right to filter foreign content including films and magazines.

“This is included in the list of exemptions under the Investment Chapter and Cross-Border Trade Chapter. So the import of books, magazines, newspapers, artworks and films that are imported and will be distributed in the domestic market will be subjected to Malaysian laws, including the suitability of broadcast content,” he was quoted saying.

Parliament is set to debate the TPP in a special parliamentary meeting on January 25 and 26.

The controversial free trade agreement which was negotiated among 12 countries is expected to be inked this February.

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