The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission will begin blocking websites that promote the upcoming Bersih 4.0 rally. This is because it believes that the rally threatens the stability of the country, particularly following the declaration from the Home Ministry that the movement is illegal.
MCMC has explains that Bersih 4.0 has been spreading propaganda against the government by the dissemination of unspecified flyers. It goes on to claim that the Bersih movement has a negative effect on the image of the country, while also threatening civil order, national security, the economy, and even Malaysia’s sovereignty. The public has been reminded to be careful in what they share over the the internet and on social media; especially with information that could potentially run afoul of the law.
This announcement comes two days after Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak said that the MCMC had no plans to block access to websites or social media connected to the Bersih movement.
Interestingly, the MCMC has not specified which websites would be blocked following this announcement. It is conceivable that blogs and newspapers could once again make up the majority of the site affected by this new round of blocks. However, a large amount of Bersih 4.0 information is shared over social media like Twitter and Facebook; and it is difficult to imagine the MCMC going as far as to block content from international companies.
The Malaysian government is already considering tabling a bill that would force online news portals to register with the MCMC. More importantly, this bill would potentially expand the MCMC’s ability to block websites that threaten “national security and stability”. This latest statement makes it appear that the bill would be unnecessary to increase the MCMC’s ability to block offending websites.
[Source: MCMC Facebook]