During his annual address to Parliament on 17 February, King Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin voiced his anxiety about blogs which he called "sources of confusion for citizens". He also called on bloggers to adopt an "ethical" and "more responsible" approach online.

The country stepped up repression by applying the Internal Security Act (ISA), that provides for detention without trial for two years (Article. 8), a sanction that is indefinitely renewable. Renowned blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin, nicknamed "RPK", was a victim of this judicial hounding over articles on his website, Malaysia Today (http://mt.m2day.org/2008/). He is currently under threat of the application of Article 8 of the ISA, on the personal orders of interior minister, Syed Hamid Albar, who considers him "a threat to national security". RPK has already been imprisoned in 2008. This pressure is one of the means of intimidating critical voices that oppose the government and which it is not known how long it will remain in force.

The country has a long tradition of keeping the media under control. The network is not censored but bloggers are monitored. Almost 63% of the population is connected to the Internet and an "inappropriate" use of the Internet can be grounds for arrest. This happened to the lawyer, P. Uthayakumar, who has been held since 13 December 2007 in the Kamunting centre for posting a letter addressed to the British government condemning ill-treatment of the Hindu minority in Malaysian prisons.


This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.