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Security Offences Bill vs. Universal declaration of Human Rights

This is what Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says:

  • No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

This is what security offences bill in Malaysia says:

(1) Notwithstanding any other written law, the Public Prosecutor, if he considers that it is likely to contain any information relating to the commission of a security offence, may authorize any police officer
(a) to intercept, detain and open any postal article in the course of transmission by post;
(b) to intercept any message transmitted or received by any communication; or
(c) to intercept or listen to any conversation by any communication.

To me, the phrase ‘if he considers it is likely’ is another way of saying arbitary.

It used to be an excuse that the United Nations Declaration of Human rights isn’t in line with our culture or our Islamic values. Pakistan and Afghanistan have signed the declaration, but not Saudi Arabia–isn’t it a wonder then that a Saudi Telecom company has boasted at the ease of which they have intercepted whatsapp messages, and are actively looking for ways to intercept twitter.

Also while you may agree that for ‘security offences’ such measures may be neccessary. It’s important to also point out the following from the Copyright Act 1987 (amended in 2012 to include the following):

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50B. (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other written law, the Public Prosecutor, if he considers that any communications is likely to contain any information which is relevant for the purpose of any investigation into an offence under this Act or its subsidiary legislation, may, on the application of an Assistant Controller or a police officer not below the rank of Inspector, authorize the officer to intercept or to listen to any communications transmitted or received by any communications.

So, obviously we don’t need such provisions for Copyright infringement now do we?

To get an idea of just what our Malaysian Government has most likely procured, check out the video below.

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