Section 114A, otherwise known as Evidence (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 2012, was passed by Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara in April this year and was gazetted on 31st July by de facto law Minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz.
Under Section 114A, an Internet user is deemed the publisher of any online content unless proven otherwise. It also makes individuals and those are administrators, operators or providers of spaces for online community forums, blogs and hosting services liable for content published through its website and/or services. The amendment has raised concerns as this presumption of guilt goes against the very fundamental principle of justice of “innocent until proven guilty“.
The amendment shifts the burden of proof onto the accused, and goes against the rules of natural justice. The new law creates a presumption that any registered user of network services is presumed to be the publisher of a publication sent from a computer linked to that network service, unless the contrary is proved.