An international human rights NGO has called on the government to answer allegations on the growing 1MDB scandal instead of coming down on its critics.
“Blocking a website and threatening critics with prosecution will not make the firestorm over alleged government corruption go away,” the Asia director at Human Rights Watch (HRW), Brad Adams, said.
“Instead of engaging in repression, the Malaysian government should lift the bans and properly address the allegations swirling around it,” Adams said in a statement today.
HRW feels that attempts by Putrajaya to suppress growing criticism were doing just the opposite and drawing more attention to the government’s actions.
“The block appears to have backfired spectacularly as it has led to a deluge of online criticism of the government’s actions and approximately 125,000 Facebook ‘likes’ for the Sarawak Report ,” Adams said.
His call comes after the government blocked London-based whistleblower website Sarawak Report for its various allegations of government corruption, and this week’s travel bans against critical politicians and journalists.
“While media freedom has long been under threat in Malaysia, successive governments have pledged not to censor the Internet as part of an effort to make Malaysia a technology hub in Asia,” Adams pointed out.