GBM: Government provokes people by cracking down on media

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Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM) unequivocally condemns the government’s action in blocking the access to news portal The Malaysian Insider (TMI) and questioning five of its editors as a provocative act to the people.

GBM warns that with this latest crackdown, preceded only by a suggestion to force registration on bloggers, Malaysia is heading into a dark age, with extensive internet censorship.

The suppression of dissenting voices is only weakening the government’s legitimacy and building up public wrath against it.

GBM urges all Malaysians to stand up and stand by TMI by visiting its mirror websites and sharing its contents to render this blockade ineffective.

GBM pays tribute to TMI, which just celebrates its eighth anniversary, for its invaluable contribution to Malaysians’ right to be informed.

We must show our utmost defiance to the crackdown which is an assault to both media freedom and the rule of law.

The blockade of TMI was instructed by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), citing Sections 263(2) and 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA).

However, GBM notes that neither Section 263(2) nor Section 233 of the Act provides the authority the power to block access to any website.

GBM calls upon the MCMC chairman Halim Shafie, his seven members and one adviser to lift the blockade immediately and resign for abusing its power.

Instead of facilitating communications and multimedia development, the MCMC is now a threat to millions of Malaysian netizens and their constitutional freedom.

GBM further urges Malaysians to be prepared to object the proposed amendments to the CMA, reportedly to be tabled in the Parliament in March and to enable more effective banning of websites.

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Endorsed by the following member organisations of Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia:

  1. Anak Muda Sarawak (AMS)
  2. Engage
  3. Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF)
  4. LLG Cultural Development Centre (LLG)
  5. Kumpulan Aktivis Mahasiswa Independen (Kami)
  6. Muslim Professionals Forum (MPF)
  7. National Indian Rights Action Team (Niat)
  8. Negeri Sembilan Chinese Assembly Hall (NSCAH)
  9. The Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH)
  10. Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara (Aliran)
  11. Persatuan Bekas Siswazah Universiti dan Kolej di China, Malaysia (LiuHua)
  12. Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM)
  13. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram)
  14. United Chinese School Alumni Associations of Malaysia (UCSAAM)
  15. Tindak Malaysia (TM)
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