Many Malaysians living locally and overseas frequent The Malaysian Insider for their daily dose of unregulated and unbiased news reports. Now however, many of us living locally may have our access to the popular news site blocked by MCMC.
According to this report by ‘Free Malaysia Today’ (FMT), “The Communications and Multimedia Ministry has blocked access to The Malaysian Insider’s portal on its eighth birthday today via several Internet providers.
Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) enforcement chief Zulkarnain Mohd Yasin confirmed the ban in a text message.
“We will issue a statement,” he told The Malaysian Insider.
Meanwhile The Malaysian Insider editor and chief executive Jahabar Sadiq claimed that no notice was sent to the company of it flouting any laws.
“This is an unpleasant surprise. I’ve tried to contact MCMC but the officers are in a meeting,” he said in a statement today.
FMT’s checks found the URLwww.themalaysianinsider.com, via Celcom and U Mobile, as well as the UniFi service, were blocked with the following message: “The website is not available in Malaysia as it violate(s) the National law(s).”
Previously, Sarawak Report’s website was blocked in July 2015 following alleged statements that were deemed “detrimental to national security”.
Last month, Amnesty International condemned the Malaysian government’s unprecedented crackdown on protesters and online critics.
Its Southeast Asia Deputy Campaigns Director Josef Benedict also claimed that “speaking out in Malaysia has become increasingly dangerous”.
Before this, Malaysian authorities had blocked other sites such as Malaysia Chronicle, regional news website Asia Sentinel as well as several blogs on various content, ranging from pornography to criticising the government.”
Another article by NST, which you can find right here, reports that “In a statement, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) said the ban was imposed following contents published by TMI that were allegedly in violation of Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998. “The action against TMI was also based on complaints received from the public. “Thus, MCMC would like to remind news portals to not spread or publish articles with unverified facts as such actions can create confusion and spark untoward situations,” MCMC said in the statement, which was published on its official Facebook page”
Whilst many of us who do not use the aforementioned ISPs (Internet Service Providers) may still have access to the popular news site, the block imposed on it makes us wonder if we can continue to visit The Malaysian Insider for our news.
Many websites have understandably and some may argue rightfully been blocked in Malaysia citing inappropriate content like pornography or hate-instilling views. This may come as a shock to many who have been living in countries like the U.S, Canada and anywhere in Europe as the internet is hardly censored in those parts of the world.
Facebook and other social media users have said that they haven’t seen anything on the website that could justify it being blocked. What do you guys think ? Is censorship acceptable without just reasons (or at all?)
You can find the source to the FMT article right here.