The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission's (MCMC) move to block news portal The Malaysian Insider (TMI) exposes Putrajaya's fear of a free media, PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil said in a statement today.
"The draconian action clearly violates point seven of the Multimedia Super Corridor Bill of Guarantees which guarantees no Internet censorship and the action was likely due to TMI 's report on the RM2.6 billion 'donation' to the country's top leader.
"It proves that Putrajaya fears the free media, especially the online media which is not so easily silenced in particular on important issues in the country," he said.
Users on Celcom and Unifi broadband networks this afternoon reported that they were unable to access TMI and were instead presented with a MCMC notice announcing that the website was blocked due to 'violation of national laws'.
Fahmi said Putrajaya should not impede the fourth estate from carrying out its duties as part of a democracy.
He added that such measures only strengthened the perception that the government was out to block the flow of information to the rakyat and stifle healthy discussion.
"Surely this action will have a negative impact on Malaysia's press freedom ranking.
"Therefore I urge Putrajaya to reconsider and retract the block immediately," he said.