MCMC lifts ban on Bersih website

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Source: The Malaysian Insider

The ban on Bersih's website, imposed by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) just before the Bersih 4 rally in August, has been lifted following a letter of demand from the electoral reform group. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, November 23, 2015.

The ban on Bersih’s website, imposed by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) just before the Bersih 4 rally in August, has been lifted following a letter of demand from the electoral reform group. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, November 23, 2015.

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has lifted the ban on Bersih’s website, imposed just before the 34-hour street gathering in late August.

Lawyer New Sin Yew, who appeared for the electoral reform group for free and fair election, said the Internet regulator had lifted the ban following a letter of demand.

“Bersih took the position that it is a violation of the freedom of information,” he said.

New said Bersih was also of the view that MCMC’s move was unreasonable, illegal and done in bad faith.

Bersih in its September 15 letter had threatened legal action against MCMC.

New said MCMC chairman Halim Shafie had personally signed a letter dated September 21 but added that they only received the letter early last month.

Days before the rally, MCMC posted on its Facebook page that it had blocked websites that “promote, spread information and encourage people to join the Bersih 4 demonstration”, on grounds that this would “threaten national stability”.

MCMC’s announcement followed the Home Ministry’s declaration that Bersih 4 was illegal.

It said the block was based on the Home Ministry’s statement that Bersih was “tarnishing the image” of the country.

The statement also said Bersih was spreading information and propaganda that caused “anxiety” among the people and could pose a threat to public order, security, economic prosperity and sovereignty of the state.

Bersih took the Home Ministry to court to challenge a ban on the yellow Bersih 4 T-shirts and other printed materials. That ban was gazetted two days before the 34-hour rally on August 27. – November 23, 2015.