Sue M C Commission

March 2, 2016

Sue M C Commission

by Ista Kyra Sharmugam

The Malaysian Insider chief executive officer Jahabar Sadiq and four other journalists had their statements recorded at the Bukit Aman police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur on Friday over a report on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s operations review panel. – The Malaysian Insider pic, March 2, 2016.

The Malaysian Insider Chief Executive Officer Jahabar Sadiq and four other journalists had their statements recorded at the Bukit Aman Police Headquarters in Kuala Lumpur on Friday over a report on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s operations review panel. – The Malaysian Insider pic, March 2, 2016.

Websites blocked by the Multimedia and Communications Commission (MCMC) without an official court order can challenge the ban with a judicial review, lawyers say in light of recent bans on blogs and a news portal.

This is since the main law used to regulate online content, the Communication and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA), does not allow the agency to block arbitrarily online content without first going to court.

They said MCMC must first prove in a court of law that a website had breached the CMA before it could be banned, said Lawyers for Liberty executive director Eric Paulsen.

“There was no due process as they just decided one fine day that they would block a legitimate online news site.MCMC is acting beyond its powers and behaving like the Prime Minister’s personal online bodyguard, protecting him from critical online news,” Paulsen said when contacted.

Another lawyer, H.R. Dipendra said the CMA was silent on whether MCMC has powers to block unilaterally websites. On February 25, access to The Malaysian Insider was blocked by government-linked telecommunication companies Unifi and Celcom on instruction by MCMC.

Access to the site was still available on the Maxis and DiGi networks until February 27 when all Malaysian telcos enforced the block. The agency claimed TMI breached Section 233 of the CMA which deals with the improper use of network facilities and services.

But Communications and Multimedia Minister Dato’ Seri Salleh Said Keruak later said TMI was blocked because it had “caused confusion” with its report quoting a source from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s operations review panel about investigations into Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Razak.

Even before the block on TMI, however, MCMC banned access to blogs, such as such as Syed Outside the Box, Tabunginsider, jingo-fotopages and Din Turtle late last month.

Other sites it has blocked are UK-based whistle-blower website Sarawak Report and local news and opinion aggregator Malaysian Chronicle. It has also blocked publishing platform Medium which carried an article by Sarawak Report on Najib.

Paulsen said sites affected by the ban could file a judicial review as the agency has acted beyond its powers.

“The only way is to challenge the decision in court through judicial review,” he said.

Another lawyer, Yusmadi Yusof, urged TMI to create a legal precedent by filing a judicial review.

“The Malaysian Insider should lead the way by doing so. This will give a chance for a correct interpretation of the law to be applied through the courts.”

Yusmadi said MCMC’s clampdown amounted to censorship and contradicted Putrajaya’s commitment to transparency when it signed up to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

“They are joining TPPA as if they are ready to embrace international law, but this type of blocking on the Internet shows they are not ready for criticism or dissent and do not understand right to reply.It reflects a more authoritarian regime which is not going to fly in the future.”


13 thoughts on “Sue M C Commission

  1. What is the etymology of ‘Keruak’, anyone?
    Is it a Bajau misspelling of Kerouac? As in Jack Kerouac – hippy.
    One of Octo’s Entitled ‘Boys’ turned rogue – yipee!

    Only in Bolehland, are lawmakers lawbreakers.

  2. Poor little town of Kota Belud, Sabah.

    To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, to produce one talentless kaki bodek may be regarded as a misfortune; to produce two in one Cabinet looks like…a seemingly deliberate assault on the rest of Malaysia? Death by mediocrity.

    Ah well. Other towns have to take the blame too. Pontian, O Pontian…

    Let’s watch Salleh’s amusing attempts to shut the lid on the Internet and on his sugar daddy’s numerous scandals.

    Futile, kawan.

    Just futile.

  3. Unlike China we don’t have the technical resources to block a news portal in its entirety. Malaysia Insider is now operating as Malaysia Outsider – a name change and a different host abroad. Don’t the idiots at Putar-jaya know? The offending article in Malaysia Insider that earns MCMC’s ire was the one about MACC having enough evidence to charge Jibby for theft and corruption. They ought to know, in a borderless world nothing escapes scrutiny. But idiots are idiots and they will remain idiots like the great Nazri.

  4. C.L.Familiaris, the word Keruak was born after a crime of a rape by a simian species was reported. The next time you see him, throw him a banana and observe the reaction.

  5. My my. I’ve not felt so much frustration and anger as of right now here. I can understand the feeling of hopelessness. But, give up we must never. This country stands for too much to lose. Goodness will be victorious finally.

  6. CLF, don’t take heed of Steven Wong — he had a nightmare of semi-simians plotting to gag everyone who is a full-blooded simian (of a higher order).

    The real keruak is also a biped, and it is the white-breasted waterhen. The scientific name is Amaurornis Phoenicurus.

    Plenty in the bush near my house. It has lost much of its ability to fly and prefers to scamper at lightning speed at the slightest hint of danger, and pretty noisy and quarrelsome in the bush. Why? You can guess!

    It is neither bird nor full-blown beast.

    The keruak, in short, suffers from an identity crisis.

  7. Thanks guys, i’ll take both derivations into ‘advisement’.
    Another question that has been bugging me is the difference between a Bugis and a Bajau? You see, where i grew up, i was total oblivious to such ‘labels’.

    But i suspect when a Bajau merges into a Bugis, a strange Chimera results – a bird-brained, confused and plastic prosimian (like a tarsier?).
    I must admit, i’m not very good at genomics – especially when it comes with teasing out the CREB proteomics. Brain plasticity certainly lacking..

    Is that ‘civil’ enough for the fruit of the loins of Keruak ?

    I think we should next concentrate on Plate Tectonics with megathrust earthquakes and resulting tsunami especially – when these seem to be happening with increasing frequency around Minangkabau lands..

  8. First the Bugis, par excellence:
    “I [Des Alwi] had joined Ali Moertopo and Benny Moedarni in frank discussions with Tun Razak and Tan Sri Ghazali, where Razak had sounded out the idea of forming an association between Malaysia and Indonesia so that the two neighbours could progress side by side. ‘It does not feel right if we, as two countries with shared roots, develop on our own,’ he said. That body would consolidate Indonesian and Malaysian efforts to develop Southeast Asia.
    Ali had asked, ‘What about Singapore?’
    ‘All right, and include Thailand. Also the Philippines to form a Southeast Asian association. As long as it’s not another Maphilindo-lah Razak quipped amidst much laughter, as everyone recalled that Maphilindo had been Sukarno’s idea.
    The germ of an idea from that meeting took root until ASEAN was born in August 1967 in Bangkok, as the second regional organisation in east Asia after the Association of SEA States (ASA) which died with confrontation and Maphilindo which never quite took off the ground.
    . . . . Tun Razak also visited the land of his ancestors in South Sulawesi in 1972. The journey, made by sea from Tawau to Makassar (now Ujung Pandang), took almost three days.
    The navy frigate Hang Tuah that brought our delegation, guarded by two corvettes from the Royal Malaysian Navy, sailed into Makassar and Razak was accorded a Bugis ceremonial welcome. He was deeply touched by the Bugis custom, reserved for its dignitaries, of arranging the pinisi boats in a tight row alongside each other, enabling him to cross easily from one boat to the other.
    The pinisi are the pride of the people of South Sulawesi. In the old days, the pinisi were the vital trading fleet for the Hassanudin sultanate. The pinisi not only sailed the archipelago but also Southeast Asia, thereby making Makassar known even in Indochina, Thailand and the Malay peninsular in the eighteenth century, and now as a descendant of Sultan Jalil of Goa, he was returning to the land of his ancestors two centuries later.
    . . . . Razak explained that I had greatly helped in forging relations with the Indonesian government. I was described as having assisted in Malaysia’s development, by helping bring in Mathematics teachers from Indonesia for Malaysian rural schools. This had contributed greatly to Malaysia’s progress, as was Prof Soemitro Djoyohadikusumo’s assistance in drawing up the concept for MARA’s development.”

    [from pg 93 – 95 of Tun Abdul Razak: A Personal Portrait; ISBN 967-61-1727-7; chapter titled My Friend Through All Seasons written by Des Alwi, Indonesian diplomat and friend of Tun Razak from since 1947, and described by Tan Sri Khir Johari as one of the architects in ending the Confrontation]

    The whole chapter is worth reading if only for the very amusing account of how Tun Razak took Toh Puan Rahah on a motor-bike jaunt in Bali without a licence, only to be stopped by a policeman, and released through Des’ timely intervention. Phew!

    That was payback time as Des Alwi had borrowed money from Tun Razak (while they were studying in London in the late 40s) to entertain two pretty white damsels. Des Alwi and friend, hell-bent on having a good weekend, had not factored in the girls were going to order wine. When the bill was presented, Des had to rush back to their flat to borrow from Tun Razak. The debt was repaid many decades later!

    The Bajaus? All I know is that they love their teeny-weeny Thoroughbreds; they talk a lot about them despite not having taken them very far from their homeland, unlike the pinisi.

    But one Bugis has been a big, big disappointment compared to the talkative Bajau.

    N.B: emphases in bold are mine.

  9. Pointless suing anyone.

    They are making up the rules as they go along. The idea is to make any narratives beyond the official one of Jibros “innocence” as seditious or “untruthful”.

    TMI has been sued and had to make public apologies many times before. So, why doesn’t Najib sue TMI ? Why doesn’t he sue the WSJ?

    The answer is obvious, right ?

  10. Sumpitan Emas, thank you for your comment par excellence.

    If the Bugis in the Malay had been able to fight off the Arabic influence, I think Malaysia would have been a happier place.

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