UPDATE (741PM): MCMC has issued an official statement regarding the ban and TMI reacts to the ban in its own way. Read below for details.
The popular news portal The Malaysian Insider has apparently been blocked by the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) from being accessed by Internet users in Malaysia. Interestingly, the blockade first took place on certain Internet Service Providers (ISPs) including TM‘s UniFi, and Celcom before spreading to other ISPs as well.
According to the news portal, the ban caught TMI by surprise since it came without any prior notice from MCMC. After the portal reached out to the commission itself, only then that its Chief Network Security, Enforcement, and Advocacy Officer, Zulkarnain Mohd Yasin has acknowledge the ban and stated that MCMC will issue a statement regarding it very soon.
However, TMI’s sources stated that the ban might be due to “national security” concerns. Well, we’ll keep you updated once MCMC comes forward with an official statement.
(Source: The Malaysian Insider)
According to the press release issued through its Facebook page, MCMC has banned TMI due to offences under Section 233, Communication and Multimedia Act 1998. The commission also stated that the move was taken upon reports and information from members of the public.
While MCMC didn’t specifically mention the nature of these details in its statement, the organization reminded other news portals to not publish or spread unverified articles. Here is the full statement in Bahasa Malaysia:
MCMC SEKAT LAMAN THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
CYBERJAYA, 25 Februari 2016 — Suruhanjaya Komunikasi dan Multimedia Malaysia (MCMC) telah menyekat laman The Malaysian Insider ekoran tindakan portal berkenaan yang telah mengeluarkan kandungan-kandungan yang menjurus kepada kesalahan di bawah Seksyen 233, Akta Komunikasi dan Multimedia 1998.
Sekatan tersebut juga dilakukan oleh MCMC berdasarkan aduan-aduan dan maklumat yang diterima daripada orang ramai.
Sehubungan itu, MCMC memperingatkan portal-portal berita agar tidak menyebarkan atau menyiarkan artikel-artikel yang tidak ditentukan kesahihannya. Ini kerana, tindakan sedemikian boleh mengundang kekeliruan dan mencetuskan situasi yang tidak diingini.
At the same time, TMI has also reacted to the ban by providing alternative ways to access the portal in Malaysia. The most interesting method out of all them is a new URL that was shared by its CEO and Editor, Jahabar Sadiq – a rather cheeky reference to the portal’s own name.
— Jahabar Sadiq (@jsadiq) February 25, 2016
Well, it seems like things will only escalate further from this point onwards.