Left to Right: Mr Khoo Kay Peng, Ms Masjaliza Hamzah, Prof. James Chin, Mr Jahabar Sadiq and  Ms Ng Yeen Seen  

What does the Arab Spring and the Occupy Movements have in common? Three alphabets: WWW. The World  Wide Web has been the messenger of revolution to millions of dissatisfied people all over the world springing  them into action. With the internet playing the role of the catalyst to every social movement in different parts  of the world, there is a "legitimate" reason for the states to nip these revolutions in the bud. And what would  be the simplest way to do it? Internet censorship.

Bringing the discourse to our own country, contrary to Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s promise to Malaysians at the  1st Malaysian-ASEAN Regional Bloggers Conference that his administration would never censor the Internet, in June 2011, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission instructed the blocking of several popular websites. This later prompted Anonymous, an anonymous internet hacker group, to launch Operation Malaysia that caused damages to some government websites. The Bill of Guarantees under the Multimedia Super Corridor launched in the mid-1990s did provide for no internet censorship in Malaysia. Will the government continue to uphold this guarantee?

What are the realities of internet censorship in our country?  Should any content be liable for censorship, and if so, who should decide where to draw the line? How does Malaysia compare with High Income countries on the issue of internet censorship, and what are the  implications for the future of its progress, in terms of economic or social advancement?

The roundtable was organised by Centre for Public Policy Studies and SASS.  The speakers were: Ms Masjaliza Hamzah, Executive Officer, Centre for Independent Journalism ; Mr Jahabar Sadiq, Chief Executive Officer/Editor, Malaysian Insider and Mr Khoo Kay Peng, Political Blogger. It was moderated by Prof James Chin from SASS.