PETALING JAYA: The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) have expressed concern on the proposal to amend the Communications and Multimedia Act 1988 (CMA). The NUJ said it considered it best to bring up the right to reporting and freedom of the press since online media now plays a bigger role in keeping the public informed. "Clamping down on online reporting will not only maim freedom of information but also removes the democratic rights of the people. "The proposed amendments will include mandatory registration of 'political' bloggers and online news portals, and an increase in penalties for offences under the CMA," it said in a statement today. It added that the amendments have yet to be shared with civil societies, journalistic organisations and the Bar's Human Rights Committee. "The lack of transparency in this process is undemocratic and emblematic of a larger trend in recent years of the government amending laws to further crackdown on free speech rather than promote and protect the right," it said. The NUJ highlighted the CMA's amendments in three main points: >> the registration of political blogs and websites >> an increase in penalties for offences related to undesirable content >> broader powers for the Internet regulatory body – the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) – to take down online content without proper oversight.