ONLINE VERSION
PART 8: CODE ADMINISTRATION

 
1.0 - Scope and Coverage
   
1.1 The keyword in this Content Code is self-regulation. By virtue of this being a voluntary industry Code, all those subscribing to it have expressly undertaken the commitment and responsibility to uphold its objectives and principles. Good governance through self-discipline and self-monitoring is the best form of administration as it ultimately serves the interests of all parties concerned.
1.2 
Content providers and Code Subjects are responsible for ensuring that Content and promotion of their services, whether produced by themselves or others on their behalf comply with the provisions of the Content Code.

2.0 - Communications and Multimedia Content Forum of Malaysia
   
2.1 The Communications and Multimedia Content Forum of Malaysia, designated on 29 March 2001, comprises a balanced representation of the relevant sectors of the industry to ensure the Code it has prepared reflects the views of the community at large.
2.2  Any addition, amendment or review of the Code shall be deliberated upon by the relevant representative industry working group and referred to the Forum's Council. Its adoption shall be subjected to input by members and due consideration of public comment..
2.3 The Forum, under its registered Constitution, is responsible for the administration of this Code and for sanctions in the case of any breach.
2.4 The Content Forum through its Complaints Bureau shall receive, consider, mediate and if necessary, adjudicate and make a ruling on matters, such as complaints and grievances, relating to alleged breaches.
2.5 Any complaint on matters covered by this Code received by a Code subject should be resolved by the parties concerned. However, if the complaint cannot be resolved, it may be referred to the Complaints Bureau.

3.0 - The Complaints Bureau
   
3.1 The Complaints Bureau shall:
(a) Consider and deal with complaints relating to content as provided for in the Code;
  (b) Investigate any Content which is considered to be in breach of the Code without there necessarily having been a complaint;
(c) Rule on any dispute arising between members of the Forum or between a member and a non-member; and
(d) Interpret provisions of the Code when the need arises or a request is made.
3.2 The basis of the action of the Bureau is the Code and provision of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.    
3.3  The Bureau will deal with all complaints of a general or specific nature that relate to this Code provided the complaint is made within two (2) months after its occurring, and if deemed valid, with reasonable basis and not frivolous.
3.4 The Bureau is not permitted to consider complaints if they concern matters that are the subject of legal proceedings, or if the Bureau decides it would be inappropriate. The Complaints Bureau may hold an inquiry into a complaint:
  (a) In response to a written request from a person or persons; or
  (b) On its own initiative.
3.5 On receiving a complaint and prior to adjudication, the Complaints Bureau shall provide the necessary assistance and guidance to the parties involved with the intention of mediating an amicable resolution by mutual consultation.
3.6 In the event mediation attempts fail, the Bureau will proceed with dealing with the complaint. The Complaints Bureau will convene an inquiry as and when the need arises and may combine the hearing of two or more complaints into a single inquiry.

4.0 - Procedure for General Public Complaints
   
4.1 Any complaint received from the public must be made in writing specifying, if possible, the part of the Content Code that has been breached together with supporting documents or details of the alleged misconduct.
4.2 The complaint will be referred to the Chairman for his consideration. If the chairman is of the view that the complaint is frivolous or prima facie lacking in merit or outside the scope of the Code, he will notify the complainant that no further action is being taken and the reasons therefore.
4.3  If the Chairman is of the opinion that the complaint warrants further investigation to determine its validity, the complaint will be forwarded immediately to the party complained against for a response within two working days.
4.4 After two working days, the Chairman will review the complaint and the response, if any. If the Chairman feels there are insufficient grounds for upholding the complaint, the chairman will circulate to Bureau members his views together with the complaint and the response, if any, within 4 working days of the receipt of the complaint.
4.5 Within three working days, if the majority of the members agree with the view of the Chairman, the Bureau will write to the complainant stating that there are insufficient grounds to uphold the complaint.
4.6  If the Chairman is of the view that the complaint has merits, copies of the complaint together with the response of the party complained against will be circulated to members for their views within two working days and:
  (a) If the views of the members are unanimous, the Bureau will inform the parties involved of the decision.
  (b) If there is a difference of opinion, the Bureau will convene a meeting within three working days to deliberate the matter.

5.0 - Procedure for Industry Complaints
   
5.1 Any complaint that any member or person from the industry has should first be raised with the alleged offending party in writing, specifying the Part of the Code which it is claimed has been breached with a copy extended to the Complaints Bureau.
5.2 Any complaint that any member or person from the industry has should first be raised with the alleged offending party in writing, specifying the Part of the Code which it is claimed has been breached with a copy extended to the Complaints Bureau.
  (a) If views are unanimous, the chairman will instruct the Secretaries on the action to be taken.
  (b) If there is a difference of opinion, the Bureau will convene a meeting within three working days to deliberate the matter.

6.0 - Inquiry Proceedings
   
6.1 In adjudication of all cases, the Bureau may require the parties concerned to provide evidence in support of or against the complaint and for this purpose may request:
(a) A written submission with documents, recordings or transcripts of the relevant Content from the complainant and respondent;
(b) The presence of the complainant and respondent and their respective witnesses at the inquiry;
(c) The presence of any party to provide clarification on a document submitted as evidence; and
(d) The presence of any outside independent party for further information or further evidence.
6.2
The Bureau will specify the time at which or within which the complainant, respondent, their witnesses and any other affected parties are required to be present at the inquiry.
6.3 The provision as to the time within which any party is required to act or respond shall be strictly observed. However, all time limits set out may, in the Bureau's discretion, be extended if it is considered that its strict application may cause injustice.

7.0 - Decisions of the Bureau
7.1 The ruling of the Complaints Bureau, on any matter and at any given time, shall be decided upon by a majority of votes of its members and rendered in writing.
7.2 The parties concerned will be notified in writing of the decision and of the subsequent action that is recommended or to be taken.
7.3  In the event that after the decision, any of the parties concerned comes into possession of evidence not earlier available, it may request the Bureau for reconsideration of its earlier decision. Such a request will be accompanied by a fee to be determined by the Bureau and any decision upon such reconsideration will be final.

8.0 - Sanction
   
8.1 The Bureau after adjudicating on a complaint and upon finding that there has been a breach of the Code may impose fines and other penalties permitted by virtue of this Code. The Bureau may upon finding that there has been a breach of the Code:
  (a) Issue a written reprimand;
  (b) Impose a fine not exceeding fifty thousand (RM50, 000.00); and/or
  (c) Require removal of the Content or cessation of the offending act.
8.2 The Bureau may also refer the Offending Party to the Communications and Multimedia Commission for further appropriate action as may be required.

9.0 - Publication of Decision
   
9.1 The Complaints Bureau will report to the Forum's Council the outcome of its mediation efforts or the ruling made, and whether or not the party complained against has complied with or the party in breach has agreed to comply with the ruling.
9.2 The Bureau shall publish its findings within 30 days of the conclusion of the inquiry and in doing so shall not include in the report:
(a) Any material of a confidential nature; or
(b) Any disclosure or personal information about any individual deemed not relevant to the complaint.

10.0 - Composition of the Complaints Bureau
   
10.1 The Complaints Bureau comprises an appointed Chairman and six members of the Forum, one each representing Advertisers, Audiotext Service providers, Broadcasters, Civic Groups, Content Creators/Distributors and Internet Access Service Providers.
10.2 The appointed Chairman shall be a retired judge or judicial officer or anyone the Council deems fit. The Chairman may be appointed and reappointed for any duration as deemed fit by the Council. The members of the Complaints Bureau shall be appointed for a two-year term at the Annual General Meeting of the Content Forum. A member is eligible for reappointment but cannot hold office for more than two consecutive terms.
10.3  A Complaints Bureau member is entitled to appoint another member of the forum from the same category he/she represents, as an alternate and shall notify the Forum Secretary in writing.
10.4  A formal inquiry convened by the Bureau shall be made up of the Chairman and at least three members. In the event of the Chairman not being able to attend such a scheduled inquiry, it must nonetheless be convened by at least three Bureau members, one of who will be elected to be the Chairman of the inquiry.
10.5  In ensuring the fair hearing of a complaint, a Complaints Bureau member must disclose to the Chairman, as soon as practicable, any interest, direct or otherwise, in any particular matter related to the complaint. If the Chairman deems it necessary, all parties involved in the inquiry must be informed of such disclosure to determine whether the member may continue to execute his duties as a member of the Complaints Bureau in relation to that matter. If none of the parties objects, the member may then continue. If there is an objection, the member cannot proceed in his capacity as a member of the Complaints Bureau in relation to that matter.
10.6 Should any vacancy in the Complaints Bureau occur between the Annual General Meeting of the Forum, the position may be filled by a member of the Council until the next Annual General Meeting. The exercise of the powers, or the performance of the functions of the Complaints Bureau shall not be affected only by reason of there being a vacancy in its membership.
10.7 The Chairman or any member of the Complaints Bureau may, at any time, resign his office by giving a written notice to The Board of Directors/Council.
10.8 The Council may, at its discretion, suspend any member of the Complaints Bureau on the ground of inappropriate behaviour or incapacity or any other reasons which makes him unfit to be a member of the Complaints Bureau.

11.0 - Development, Amendment and Review of Content Code
   
11.1 Any proposal for development, addition to, amendment of, or review of the Content Code required or necessary shall be referred to a Working Group comprising the six categories, namely Advertisers, Broadcasters, Audiotext Service Providers, Content Creators/Distributors, Internet Access Service Providers and Civic Groups.
11.2  Any such proposal for development, addition to, amendment of, or review of the Content Code shall be considered and formulated by the members of the Working Group and shall if approved by a resolution of a simple majority of the members of the Working Group (whereupon it shall be referred to as the Recommendation) be made available to members of the Society for their input.
11.3 The Working Group shall consider and deliberate on the input received from members and decide the extent to which the Recommendation is to be revised. If two thirds of the members are agreed on the Recommendation whether in its original form or as revised, the Recommendation shall be submitted to the Council.
11.4  So long as the Council by simple majority of its members present and voting approves the Recommendation the Council shall make available such Recommendations for Public Comment (public consultation) for a reasonable period.
11.5 The Working Group shall thereafter consider the input in the form of Public Comment that has been received and shall upon approval in its original or amended form by a simple majority forward its Recommendation to the Council.
11.6 Upon receipt of such Recommendation in relation to Content Code as so approved, the Council shall forward the same to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission for registration.
11.7 The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission must be notified of any amendment or modification to the Content Code as it would be considered as a new Code and would therefore need to be registered to take effect.