JULY 20 — The Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) challenges the actions of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) in blocking access to website Sarawak Report.
Blocking a website is a serious restriction on freedom of expression and can only legitimately be done under specific, narrowly defined and necessary circumstances.
There must be a legitimate purpose – whether for national security, public order, or public morality – which is clearly outlined and disclosed. The blocking must also be done via a legitimate law and must be proportionate to the means they intend to achieve.
In this case, MCMC has merely stated that access to Sarawak Report has been blocked as it has violated sections 211 and 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA).
Those sections state the offence of posting offensive content on the internet and the penalties that a court may impose if a person or content provider is found guilty. In this case, MCMC appears to have assumed the role of prosecutor and judge and found Sarawak Report guilty of an offence under the CMA without a prosecution or a court finding. Read more