Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has stated his objection to a proposed mandatory internet filtering software, saying that the filtering of information on the internet would be ultimately ineffective.
He said with the ease of information flowing globally, any move to filter Internet access in Malaysia would only breed public discontent.
“In this borderless and IT age, information flows freely... the government has no desire to implement Internet filtering.”
Najib was commenting on a statement by Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, who said Malaysia was looking at blocking access to pornographic websites.
Information Minister Rais Yatim was quoted as saying: "The safety of our children is not an Internet game. We will find any way to ensure we are free from the culture of pornography among children.
It had been earlier reported that Rais’ ministry was evaluating the possibility of an Internet filter similar to China’s “Green Dam Youth Escort” software.
The plan called for all computers in China to have the software installed but the Chinese government delayed implementation on July 1 after Internet users there voiced concern.
Green Dam was also criticised for exposing users to security breaches, with some experts claiming it could be hacked easily.
Malaysia's neighboring country, Singapore, also practices censorship through a blacklist of Web sites. Last year, it banned two pornographic sites in a "symbolic statement", Singapore's Media Development Authority (MDA) was quoted as saying.
Bernama, Internet Should Not Be Censored, Says Tun Mahathir, 8 August 2009,
Business Week, Malaysia to Censor Some Internet Content, 10 August 2009, http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/aug2009/gb20090810_795144....
New Straits Times, Najib: We will not filter Net access, 8 August 2009, http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/articles/20090808075451/Article/i...