As a blogger and an independent Net publisher, I see the amendment (No.2) to the Evidence Act as a real threat to freedom of expression. The amendment which puts the burden of proof on the accused is at every sense against the law of natural justice.
In today's reality, it is so easy for any person/computer expert to hack into a website and use the access to post seditious and libelous information on the website/blog/email. The long arms of law should help to prevent such an abuse and to protect the privacy of Internet users.
If the law is being revamped and amended to protect the state against criticism and allegations, this amendment is definitely a step in the wrong direction. Any democratically elected government must be able to withstand the heat.
It other words, any politicians who cannot stand the heat should get out of the kitchen (politics). It is better for the ruling regime to engage, respond and reply to allegations than to use draconian and undemocratic legislations to stifle dissent and opposition.
It is a fact that no popular government can win the support of everyone. There are bound to be opposition and dissenting voices, mainly due to the competitive nature of electoral politics.
If the Najib administration is serious about its reforms agenda, it should immediately pull out this amendment. It is not fair to those who are serious, objective and independent in their views and opinions.
Any government that wishes to stay in power must win the confidence of the people by being transparent and by promoting freedom and healthy engagement.
It is time for politics to make way for real liberty in the country. We have seen too much politicking and those in power must not take it for granted that they can hold to power forever through devious means. Even the most hardcore and repressive governments had been defeated and brought down on their knees.
For those aspiring for power, please remember that it comes with big responsibility too.