Is the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) afraid that whistleblower website Sarawak Report would come out with more revelations on the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) controversy?
That seems to be the case, Sarawak Report said in its response after access to the site was blocked by the government communications and multimedia regulator last night.
Calling it a "blatant attempt" to censor its exposure of alleged major corruption through 1MDB, Sarawak Report pointed out that information that USD700 million of 1MDB funds being channelled to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's accounts had long been backed up by other major global news organisations.
"So we can only assume that the MCMC is fearful that we are about to bring out further revelations.
"They also plainly hope that a strong arm, anti-democratic media clamp-down will enable them to contain these issues on behalf of the prime minister, who seems unable to answer questions on the matter of these payments into his accounts and has been running away from journalists for weeks."
In a press release yesterday, the MCMC said it had received complaints that the website had published information that allegedly had not been verified.
As a result MCMC announced it has blocked the website is temporarily, until the government’s special task force set up to probe the 1MDB scandal completes its investigation.
'Try countering with facts'
Meanwhile, Sarawak Report further pointed out how "no one" in the government had had the guts to take the whistleblower site formally to task over any factual detail in its many revelations.
The UK-based website said this is because its information is "overwhelming, easily proven and patently substantiated by a mass of corroborative factual evidence".
And because certain members of the government were not in a position to refute the evidence, said Sarawak Report , that was why they had spent the last few weeks doing their best to distract from the issue of misappropriated funds involving 1MDB by attacking the integrity of Sarawak Report .
"Ever more bizarre, inconsistent and unsubstantiated accusations have been channelled through their proxy news media outlets - with just one glaring thing absent, which are facts to back their accusations up.
"Ministers have shouted about forged, tampered or distorted documents, but they have been unable to pin point a single example.
“A bought 'confession' from a well-known fantasist and liar has wilted under scrutiny," added Sarawak Report .
As for the MCMC, which said that Sarawak Report was pulled down because it "violated national laws" and published "unverified accusations", the whistleblower site questioned whether there was a single person in the whole of Malaysia who believed a word of the official claim by MCMC.
"If all our exposes were a dark and tangled plot of elaborate forgeries and lies, why is it that politicians across the political spectrum been voicing anger and concern for months and years about the growing indebtedness and missing billions at 1MDB?
"And why are there a mass of official investigations being conducted into this very matter?" it pointed out.
Stressing that it will not be impeded in any way by this act, Sarawak Report said the latest blow to media freedom only brings further discredit upon the present administration, which it said had proven it was unable to counter the evidence presented thus far using any other method.