Bersih censorship: Come on, MCMC, we are in the 21st century!

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Aliran unreservedly condemns internet regulator Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission’s plan to block websites that provide information on this weekend’s Bersih rally.

The MCMC should not play a Big Brother role to purportedly protect Malaysians from information that “could threaten national stability”. With an unfettered flow of information, Malaysians can decide for themselves whether such information can actually destabilise the country.

Besides, Malaysians should not tolerate actions of the authorities that essentially insult their intelligence. Contrary to the government’s belief, Malaysians are not stupid. They are capable of realising what is good for the nation and what is bad for the BN.

Malaysians know that the Bersih rally actually rattles the ruling elites’ sense of security – and what is wrong with that in any democracy worth its name? After all, these leaders are supposed to berkhidmat untuk rakyat (serve the people) as they always remind us; so they should be shivering when the Rakyat move.

The MCMC must cease its mischievous plan to block Bersih-related information for this would be a blatant violation of the people’s right to information. Come on, we live in the 21st century. For the MCMC to act in the way it proposes suggests that the powers that be are feeling the political jitters.

The MCMC must ask itself why it exists in the first place. Is its role to facilitate the dissemination of news or to help spread BN propaganda? If it forgets its primary social responsibility, then it is time to do away with one more BN propaganda machinery!

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At a time when the ringgit is in free-fall, when mystery still shrouds the debt-laden 1MDB and when the economy is going south, blocking information on Bersih only further undermines the political legitimacy of the Najib administration. Malaysians are aware that the government is resorting to this undemocratic means because it is desperate to control the groundswell support for Bersih.

The ban on Bersih information must be lifted immediately.

Aliran Executive Committee
27 August 2015

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