NEWS organisation MalaysiaNow has taken a defiant stance against censorship efforts by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).
MalaysiaNow editor Abdar Rahman Koya has asserted that MalaysiaNow will not succumb to pressure in its commitment to the pursuit of journalism.
The dispute arose when MalaysiaNow received an email from MCMC, requesting the amendment or removal of articles related to an incident titled “Blok PN keluar, ‘Tambun peliwat’ bergema di Dewan Rakyat selepas PM serang Radzi” and its English translation, “Pandemonium, walkout after PM refuses to retract accusation against Putrajaya MP.”
Moreover, MCMC claimed that these articles did not provide the proper context and deemed the Bahasa Malaysia article’s title “impolite, insulting, or disgusting” (tidak sopan, penghinaan, atau jelik).
Allegedly authored by MCMC’s “Content Analysis Department,” the email warned MalaysiaNow of “further enforcement actions” if the requested changes were not made within two hours. These articles focused on a tumultuous exchange between the government and opposition lawmakers, which resulted in the removal of Putrajaya MP Radzi Jidin from the Dewan Rakyat.
Rahman defended the articles, stating that they simply presented a journalist’s account of the parliamentary proceedings, according to Malaysiakini.
“(Moreover), the MCMC and Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil have yet to explain why access to our website was restricted in June,” he said.
Some internet service providers had restricted access to MalaysiaNow for around 48 hours beginning June 27.
At that time, Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil claimed that no orders had been given to block the website. Fahmi has previously acknowledged that the MCMC has taken action against several news websites, arguing that such measures are necessary to combat slanderous or fake news while safeguarding legitimate journalism.
Other news outlets including TVPertiwi and UtusanTV have similarly reported being targeted by MCMC enforcement. – Sept 21, 2023
Main photo credit: Bernama