Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM) unequivocally condemns the government’s action in the blocking of access to news portal The Malaysian Insider and the questioning of five of its editors, as a provocative act to the people.
GBM warns that with this latest crackdown - preceded only by an earlier 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 the public’s wrath against it.
GBM urges all Malaysians to stand up and stand by The Malaysian Insider , by visiting its mirror websites and sharing its contents to render this blockade ineffective.
On that note, GBM pays tribute to The Malaysian Insider - which recently celebrated 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 rule of law.
The blockade of The Malaysian Insider was instructed by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), which has cited three laws - among which is Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA).
However, GBM notes that Section 233 of the Act does not provide authorities with the power to block access to any website.
GBM urges MCMC chairperson 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 against the proposed amendments to the CMA - reportedly to be tabled in the Parliament in March and to enable more effective banning of websites.
This statement is endorsed by the following member organisations of GBM:
1. Anak Muda Sarawak (AMS)
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. Negri 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)