Friday, February 26, 2016

Najib’s ‘unhealthy journalism’ complaint lame, says Kit Siang

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak sounded "very lame" complaining about unhealthy practice of journalism, DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang said today. The party's parliamentary leader and Gelang Patah MP said Najib had closed his eyes to most of the "inflammatory and insidious" abuses by Umno cybertroopers against DAP and opposition leaders. "Najib's lament is also no justification for the 'sledgehammer' reaction to block access to The Malaysian Insider, in particular in reaction to its report entitled 'Enough proof to charge Najib over SRC, says MACC oversight committee'. "The government has a plethora of laws against Internet abuse and the virtual ban on The Malaysian Insider is completely unjustifiable, especially as the news portal had not received any prior notice of the ban," Lim  said in a statement today. He added that the blocking of TMI was also in violation of the 20-year Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) Bill of Guarantees of "No Censorship of the Internet". Access to The Malaysian Insider site was blocked by Internet regulator Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) on Thursday evening following the report, which quoted an unnamed source from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission on an investigation related to Najib. MCMC has cited Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) 1998 to justify blocking access to TMI over the report which it said had caused "public confusion". Yesterday, five TMI staff were questioned for four hours by the police over the report. They were investigated under Section 124 (i) of the Penal Code, Section 8 (a) of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998. On the same day, MCMC urged social media users to report content that was offensive, incestuous, pornographic and false. Recounting DAP's own "disappointing" experience with MCMC, Lim said the party had lodged such reports with the commission before over false and insidious postings on social media by pro-Umno cybertroopers against DAP and its leaders. "But no action whatsoever was taken by MCMC or the police against such blatant falsehoods and lies," he said. Najib yesterday said keyboard warriors, cybertroopers and news portals had made the online world their playground, constructing their own version of reality with click bait headlines that served their own agendas, calling it an unhealthy practice of journalism. However, Lim said Najib should uphold the promise that the Internet would not be censored and revoke the block by MCMC. – February 27, 2016.]]>

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