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Several blogs blocked for alleged violation of the laws

Syed Banned

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR – January 28, 2016: Several prominent blogs have been blocked by the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) for allegedly violating the laws.

One of the affected bloggers, Syed Akbar Ali of ‘Syed Outsyed The Box‘, when contacted by The Mole said that aside from him there were two other blogs that had received similar treatment by the MCMC.

The blogs were the social-political blog ‘Din Turtle‘ and a photo blog called ‘Minaq Jingo Fotopages.’

According to MCMC the access for these sites were denied under section 263(2) Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 as the bloggers have violated the law by breaching provision 233 of the act.

According the provision, a person commits an improper use of network facilities or network when he/she knowingly, (a) by means of a network service or applications service provides any obscene communication for commercial purposes to any person or (b) permit a network service or applications service under the person’s control to be used for an activity described in paragraph (a).

Speaking to The Mole, Syed Akbar claimed that he cannot recall writing any posting that can be deemed as violating national laws.

“Yes, I tend to be sarcastic and cynical in my postings but that is how I write.

“This is both sad and unfair for my readers because at the end of the day they can no longer read my postings,” lamented Syed Akbar adding that he did not receive any prior notification from the MCMC.

However, when pressed further, Syed Akbar surmised over two possibilities that led to his blog being banned.

He said that his blog may been blocked due to a satirical posting he wrote in response to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s speech, whereby the latter assured Malaysians that the government will protect the country against any form of terrorism.

“So if I were to indeed violate the country’s anti-terrorism laws by writing a cynical response to his (Najib) speech then am I now a terrorist?” he queried.

However, he strongly believed that his blog was blocked because for re-posting one of Sarawak Report’s article.

“I have for a number of times, reposted Sarawak Report’s articles and I think some of the links to the site was embedded in the re-posted article,” he said.

Syed Akbar reasoned that given the fact that Sarawak Report has been banned in Malaysia, he may have accidentally violated national laws by inadvertently sharing a link to the site through his blog posting.

“Right now I kind of saddened and it feels like I’m experiencing a withdrawal syndrome because there’s no point in blogging without having any readers.

“Mind you that 99.9 per cent of my readers are locals in the country and I have 26 million page views.

“It’s not that I was making conspiracies through my blog postings. I don’t know what I’ll do right now…maybe I’ll take a break or write a book,” he quipped.

Meanwhile another prominent journo-blogger Datuk Ahiruddin Attan commented that he strongly disagreed with MCMC’s actions.

“I’m not in tandem with a lot of things my old friend Syed Akbar Ali writes on his popular blog these days, especially his provocative postings on Islam.

“But if blocking his blog is the work of our authorities, ie Salleh Said Keruak’s (Communication and Multimedia Minister) ministry or its subsidiary MCMC, in the name of protecting the public at large or for whatever reasons, I have to strongly disagree,” he wrote in his blog.

Attempts to get comments from MCMC by The Mole has so far not been successful.

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About the author

Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

Despite becoming The MOLE's journalist in 2014, he still has a hard time traversing the city. If he is not lost, this northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make some sense out of the Malaysian political sphere.