TMI - Explain reasons for TMI block, says group
Friday, February 26, 2016
The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission has a duty to explain to The Malaysian Insider why access to the news portal is being blocked, the Centre for a Better Tomorrow (Cenbet) said today.

The group advocating moderation and good governance said merely stating that the portal could be in breach of Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act does not answer how content in the news site could be "obscene, indecent, menacing or offensive" with the intent to "annoy, abuse, threaten or harass".

"The least MCMC could have done is to specify the article in contention, who the aggrieved party is, and why this warranted the drastic and rare move to restrict access to the site.

"Unless articles in The Malaysian Insider, or any other websites, contain seditious content, calls to topple the government by way of violence, pornography or any other elements deemed genuinely detrimental to national security, there should be no reason to block online content," Cenbet said in a statement.
It said that in a healthy democracy, a free press acts as a check-and-balance on the government and is a platform for ideas to flourish, adding that those aggrieved by media reports have the right of reply and the option to take legal action.

It said blocking TMI through administrative measures was also tantamount to issuing veiled threats to other media companies, adding that this went against the government's pledge to ensure a free and responsible press.

Cenbet said the block was the latest in a series of actions against the media, which included the three-month suspension of The Edge and The Edge Financial Daily last year, the detention of key personnel from The Edge and The Malaysian Insider, and charging cartoonist Zunar for sedition in 2015.

"This does not bode well for Malaysia, whose press freedom ranking has been slipping over the years.

"In 2014, it is ranked 147 in the World Press Freedom Index, down two placing from the year before, faring worse than Myanmar (ranked 144) and Zimbabwe (ranked 131)," it said. – February 26, 2016.

Source: The Malaysian Insider

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