Kuala Lumpur (AFP) – Malaysia insisted Thursday it would not use decades-old laws to stop people posting videos on social media, backtracking on earlier comments that sparked concerns about worsening freedom of expression.
Communications Minister Saifuddin Abdullah told parliament earlier Thursday that the law required people in Malaysia to get official permission to make any video — even those intended for social media platforms such as TikTok.
His comments sparked a storm of criticism from opposition lawmakers and social media users concerned the government was trying to silence dissent, as well as mockery online.
The remarks were triggered by a row over an Al Jazeera documentary made in Malaysia which has infuriated officials, who claim the Qatar-based broadcaster did not get the necessary licence.
Al Jazeera insists it did not need one for the programme — prompting Saifuddin to make the remarks.
However, hours later, he released a statement saying