MCMC has had to release a statement clarifying that yesterday’s announcement is not a ban, but rather advising the public. The notice, which appeared on Facebook, reminded internet goers that posting images mocking the 1MDB debacle – as well as spreading false information – could be construed as breaking the law.
MCMC strategic communications director, Syeikh Raffie Abdul Rahman, said an earlier “warning” of a ban on the publishing of modified pictures and unverified news was only “an advisory notice.” However, he noted that Part 7.3 of the MCMC Content Code allows for satire and parody: provided that it is clear to readers that the content is fictional.
The original notice drew the ire of the public shortly after appearing online. Citizens criticised what they saw as an attempt by the MCMC to silence dissent and protect the government from further mockery. Activist Marina Mahathir slammed the announcement by saying that “jails will be full” if the government decided to arrest everyone who shared the posts.
Lowyat.NET had already pointed out that the original post from MCMC did not explicitly ban the memes being circulated around the internet, but was worded to remind the public of the possible repercussions that may happen. It is highly unlikely that any sort of ban on social media will be imposed by the MCMC, especially considering that it does not actually have the power to issue blanket bans.