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Copy of Printing Presses and Publications Act (1948)

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weis ohk

on 2 October 2014

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Transcript of Copy of Printing Presses and Publications Act (1948)

Printing Presses and Publications Act (1984)
Printing Presses and Publications Act (1984)
is a Malaysian statute governing publishing and the usage of printing presses in Malaysia
It replaced the Printing Presses Act 1948 and the Control of Imported Publications Act 1958 (Revised 1972)
All printing presses require a license granted by the Home Affairs Minister, renewed every year
Should one possess or use an unlicensed printing press, he may be imprisoned for up to three years and/or fined up to RM20,000. A deposit made under Section 10 of the Act will also be forfeited in such a case.
The Minister is given "absolute discretion" in the granting and revocation of licenses, and can also restrict or ban outright publications that are likely to endanger national security interest or create social unrest
first introduced by the British colonial government as the Printing Ordinance of 1948 at the beginning of the state of emergency, in order to counteract Communist activities seen as a threat to the establishment
The Ordinance was revised in 1971, after the race riots of 1969, and became the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA)
Additional power was given to revoke newspaper licenses that were seen to be aggravating national sensitivities or were considered detrimental to national development goals
Amid objections, the PPPA was amended in 1984. Again, more power was given to the government to seize or revoke a printing press or publication license.
Case Study 1
Also known as Zulkiflee Anwar Haque was born on 15 May 1962 at Bukit Junun, Gurun, Kedah.
He is a cartoonist for Malaysiakini, the online news website. He has been drawing editorial cartoons for the past 20 years in Malaysia.
1973 - Zunar produced his first works which were published in the magazine Bambino.
Zunar’s name became well-known when he got himself involved in the Reformasi movement following the sacking of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as the then deputy prime minister in 1998.
Zunar hold to the philosophy which is when one’s country is facing a moral crisis and beset by corruption, abuse of power and violations of human rights, then it is one’s duty to take a firm stand against those responsible for it. “How can I be neutral, when even my pen has a stand?” [ZUNAR 2012]

Case Study 2
Minister of Home Affairs v Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara (1990)
This is an appeal case by the Ministry of Home Affairs against a High Court ruling by Harun J. quashing the Ministry’s rejection of a permit for publication. In November 1986, the Persatuan Aliran Kebangsaan (Aliran) applied for a permit to publish a Bahasa Malaysia version of their magazine, “Seruan Aliran” in addition to its English monthly publication Aliran Monthly. But their application was rejected without any given reason. In 1987 Aliran brought the matter to the High Court for a judicial review of the Minister’s “absolute discretion” in granting permit.
Implication of Printing and Publications Act in Malaysia
Section 3 of the Act gives the Internal Security Minister absolute discretion to grant a license and absolute discretion to refuse any application for a license
The license can be revoked or suspended at any time, and can be given for a limited period
In addition, the minister has absolute discretion to determine the fate of presses and publications, with decision not subject to judicial review
Under Section 13A, courts are instructed that they cannot question ministers’ decisions on any grounds whatsoever. The government also has wide powers of seizure over printing presses and publications.
Concentrated on political cartoons after his released.

Produced several books of cartoons touching on many reform movements that he had previously participated including Harakah.
The Act has been criticised for curtailing the freedom of speech in Malaysia, which is subject to any restriction Parliament may impose under Article 10 of the Constitution. In particular, it has been alleged that the Act "empowers the Minister to exercise virtually total control over the print media." This criticism was intensified after a 1987 amendment to the Act established an ouster clause preventing actions of the Home Affairs Minister from being called into question by the courts.
Despite this, High Court Justice Harun Hashim has asserted that the Home Affairs Minister's actions may be subjected to judicial review. In the case of Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara v. Minister of Home Affairs, Harun quashed the decision of the Minister to refuse Aliran, a reform group, permission to publish a Malay publication.
His decision was reversed on appeal in the Supreme Court, where Supreme Court Justice Ajaib Singh ruled that the amended section 12 of the Act did exclude actions of the Home Affairs Minister from judicial review.
2nd implications
The Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 (PPPA) empowers the Minister of Home Affairs in his absolute discretion to grant to any person a permit to print and publish a newspaper in Malaysia.

A. B. Bone request to publish a newspaper in 1806 named Prince of Wales Gazette
The application granted, in a condition that bone must send the proof sheet to the Secretary general to be approved.

24 June 2010, “1 Funny Malaysia”, a book of his published works from the Malaysiakini website, “Gedung Kartun”, “Perak Dalam Kartun” and “Isu Dalam Kartun” which were a series of magazines about political and recent issues in Malaysia and Perak were banned and prohibited by the Malaysian Home Ministry to be sold in public.
The Malaysian government announced the ban on five of his political cartoon publications under the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA):
1. 1 Funny Malaysia
2. Perak Darul Kartun
3. Isu Dalam Kartun vol 1
4. Isu Dalam Kartun vol 2
5. Isu Dalam Kartun vol 3
July 27, 2010, he and his employer Malaysiakini filed two separate suits in the Kuala Lumpur High Court to challenge the decision of the Ministry of Home Affairs in banning his books.
The High Court judge, Datuk Rohana Yusuf in her judgment said the Home Ministry which banned the work involved is valid in accordance with Section 7 of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 .
This case is related to Section 7 (1) of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 which says:

"7(1) If the Minister is satisfied that any publication contains any article, caricature, photograph, report, notes, writing, sound, music, statement or any other thing which is in any manner prejudicial to or likely to be prejudicial to public order, morality, security, or which is likely to alarm public opinion, or which is or is likely to be contrary to any law or is otherwise prejudicial to or is likely to be prejudicial to public interest or national interest, he may in his absolute discretion by order published in the Gazette prohibit, either absolutely or subject to such conditions as may be prescribed, the printing, importation, production, reproduction, publishing, sale, issue, circulation, distribution or possession of that publication and future publications of the publisher concerned

Call for repeal of PPPA as amendments to draconian press law are “baby steps” if Najib is serious about wanting Malaysia to be world’s best democracy.
CIJ said: “The PPPA in its entirety should be repealed and newspapers should be free to publish without the need for a government permit. There are sufficient laws in place to deal with newspapers that publish false news without the need for ministerial oversight."

In the case of Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara and Ministry of Home affairs, it shows that the absolute power of the minister in giving out permits is really powerful.

The cases of Aliran application were among the main contributing factor to stricter amendments that allow the absolute power of the minister and no intervention of the Judiciary bodies section 13A.
The court use unwritten law in judgment of Aliran Certiorari and Mandamus.

Dr. Mahathir who was also the Minister of Home Affairs at that time explains the unpractical use of English Common Law that is a unwritten law

The government cant be possibly aware of what can and cannot be done, in contrast of written laws approve by the parliament can be indentified.
Aliran case is one of the events that have affected the rest of the media industry.
After the amendment in the year 1987 the public mostly have the government voice newspaper, with the opposition papers were reduced in amount of publication and distribution.
Media ownership that have close relation to the ruling party, have change the media landscape.

The case is related to section 12(2) of Printing Presses and Publication Act 1984 that read:-

“The Minister shall have the absolute discretion to refuse an application for a license or permit or the renewal thereof”

1971- The Ordinance was revised, after the race riots of 1969, and became the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA).

1984- The PPPA was amended.

The government has yet again rejected Malaysiakini’s application for a publication permit for a daily newspaper despite the courts twice ruling that the independent news portal has the right to publish.

In a letter received by Malaysiakini chief executive officer Premesh Chandran, the Home Ministry said the rejection was because the news portal “often causes controversy” by publishing news that could “distress” the people.

Home Ministry’s Publications Control and Al-Quran Text Division head Hashimah Nik Jaafar also stressed that the reports “could cause hatred towards national leaders”.

Case Study 3
According to the Home Ministry, among the contentious reports published by Malaysiakini are:

‘How much will Najib spend to keep Terengganu?’ published on May 14, 2014 prompted Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, in an unprecedented action, to sue the portal for defamation.

A commentary by think-tank Political Studies for Change (KPRU) condemning Najib’s lawsuit against Malaysiakini.

An article on the government’s private jet, in which Najib and his wife were believed to be on board, being spotted in various European cities in August this year.

An article quoting the Malaysian Indian Progressives Association (Mipas) slamming police chief Khalid Abu Bakar for saying he was taking the “middle path” in an inter-religious custody battle.

The arrest of Penang executive councillor Phee Boon Poh over the Penang Voluntary Patrol Squad (PPS) issue. Journalist Susan Loone was arrested for sedition over the article.

On Oct 1, 2012, the High Court quashed the Home Ministry’s decision not to award Malaysiakini publisher Mkini Dotcom Sdn Bhd a publication permit for a daily newspaper.

Judge Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim ruled that the ministry’s decision was “irrational and improper” and breached the constitutional right to freedom of expression, which includes the right to a publishing permit.

He ordered Malaysiakini to make a fresh application to the Home Ministry. Following the decision, the ministry filed an appeal in the Court of Appeal.

On Oct 30, 2013, a three-member Court of Appeal panel unanimously rejected the government’s appeal and upheld the High Court’s decision.

When the government did not appeal to the Federal Court - the country’s highest court - Malaysiakini submitted a new application to the Home Ministry early this year.

Editor-in-chief Steven Gan, who is not surprised by the latest setback, said Malaysiakini will take the matter back to court.

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