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Message from the PVC of Monash University Malaysia

Added on by Ridzki.

I don't usually comment about fellow bloggers or any other people that voiced their opinion on the internet but still, when I got this email from the PVC of Monash University Malaysia I know something out of the line had been done.

Here is the email:

*********************************************************************** A message from Pro Vice-Chancellor and President (Malaysia), Prof. Merilyn Liddell *********************************************************************** Dear Students,

It has come to my attention that there have been a number of blogs by students that are defamatory in nature, causing hurt to the persons named, and put the students who author the blogs at risk in a number of ways. I suspect that this has arisen because students are not aware of the laws of Malaysia relevant to such situations, nor of the University policies that pertain.

Please note that while free speech is welcome, there are limitations provided by the law particularly regarding defamation and sedition. It would appear that some students are not aware of this, and have perhaps inadvertently contravened the law.

In light of this, the University wishes to provide relevant information to students regarding the legal and institutional context that applies.

Please find attached a document prepared by the campus solicitor, for your information, and action as necessary.

Prof. Merilyn Liddell Pro Vice-Chancellor and President (Malaysia)

NOTICE TO STUDENTS

RE: BLOGGING

It has recently come to the attention of the University that there have been several blogs written by students on the internet which were derogatory in nature and made against the University and its lecturers ("the Blogs").

As such, we wish to bring to awareness that there are laws in Malaysia and disciplinary policies at Monash University relating to such matters. The words used in the Blogs could be construed as defamatory or seditious words and constitute offences under the said laws and policies, thereby placing the blogger ("the Offender") in danger of attracting legal action and/or disciplinary action against him/her.

Definitions Words are "defamatory" in nature if the words "tend to lower a person in the estimation of right-thinking members of society generally" (per the Defamation Act 1957) or if the words "makes or publishes any imputation concerning any person, intending to harm, or knowing or having reason to believe that such imputation will harm the reputation of such person" (per the Penal Code (Revised 1997)).

Words are considered "seditious" if they have a tendency to bring into hatred or contempt, excite, raise discontent or disaffection, promote feelings of ill-will and hostility against another person or party (per the Sedition Act 1948).

Consequences/Dangers for using defamatory or seditious words in blogs There are numerous legal and/or disciplinary actions which may be taken against the Offender:- (i) a civil action for defamation may be initiated in court by the University and/or the offended lecturer against the Offender; (ii) a criminal action for sedition may be commenced in court by the Authorities against the Offender; (iii) the University may take disciplinary action against the Offender for committing a misconduct under the Students Disciplinary Policy; (iv) the University may take disciplinary action against the Offender for committing an offence under the Acceptable Use of Information Technology Facilities By Students Policy.

Advice to Students In view of the above and in view of the very public nature of the blogs, the University advises all students as follows:- (i) to exercise caution when blogging or making any other postings on the internet so as to avoid writing anything which may be defamatory or seditious in their blogs or postings; (ii) to immediately remove any blogs (together with its entire blog trail) or postings which could be defamatory or seditious in nature; (iii) to lodge any grievances or complaints through the proper channels made available at the University, such as through:- (a) the University's Counselling Services; (b) MUSA Education Affairs Committee; (c) the University's Student Services Department; (d) the Course Managers of the respective Schools.

The University also encourages students to at all times maintain and uphold (and not tarnish nor prejudice) the good name and reputation of Monash University as being a premier international university as a good name and reputation serves to benefit not just the University but also the students.

Please be so advised.

Thank you.

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To be frank, I have observed one particular blog which has let's say commented things in this university.

These comments, are somehow facts about the live and people in the campus but delivered in a way that is inconsiderate to the people that are becoming the subjects of the comments.

Therefore for this, I have to applaud the University for recognizing this matter quick enough and in the end I just want to added (liberal) democracy has really great to humanity, but somehow uncontrolled, it would lead to anarchy and that is the last thing we wanted after all the troubles in the world isn't it?

 

Cheers

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