Putrajaya is mulling a proposal to impose registration for online news portals under a proposed amendment to the country's cyber laws, according to The Star Online .
Newly-minted Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak said his ministry was considering several models, including the one in Singapore.
"I have been meeting the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) officials to study the proposal," he was quoted as saying.
Under the Singapore model, news portals with more than 50,000 unique visitors a month must obtain an annual licence from the Media Development Authority (MDA).
They must deposit a SG$50,000 bond with the MDA, which can be forfeited if they do not comply with rules set by the government.
At present, online news portals operate relatively free as it does not require a publishing licence from the Home Ministry unlike the traditional media, and is therefore not subjected to the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984.
Plan not link to 1MDB scandal
Salleh ( photo ) insisted the plan had nothing to do with the 1MDB scandal which had been extensively reported online.
“It has nothing to do with that. We want comprehensive amendments. The laws were introduced in 1998, and since then, there has been a lot of developments.
“We must take into account these developments. Many countries also amend their cyber laws to ensure that social media does not cause problems,” he was quoted as saying.
Salleh said the amendments are expected to be tabled in the upcoming parliamentary sitting in October.
On the blocking of whistleblower site Sarawak Report , Salleh said there was no plans to lift the ban.