On 19 February 2021, the majority of the Malaysian Federal Court (“Federal Court”) delivered its much-anticipated judgment in Peguam Negara Malaysia v Mkini Dotcom Sdn Bhd and Another  4 MLJ 791 in respect of the allegation of contempt of court by way of comments posted by subscribers and readers on the Malaysiakini news portal on 9 June 2020.
The Federal Court in its majority decision held that Malaysiakini, an online platform provider, is liable for third party comments which are offensive and inappropriate even though they had no knowledge of the same until notified and where the impugned comments were then promptly removed. Further, compliance with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Content Code (“Content Code”) did not shield Malaysiakini from liability.
While the matter related to an offence of criminal contempt, the Federal Court’s decision is likely to impact and change the landscape of liability for online platform providers in Malaysia with regard to third party content.
Economies all around the world are experiencing an unprecedented economic slowdown amidst rising concerns of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and Malaysian companies including large conglomerates are not spared. As it stands, the Movement Control Order (MCO)in Malaysia, which is in effect from 18 March to 31 March 2020, has severely…