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Bar Council Urges MCMC To Unblock Access To TMI

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PETALING JAYA: The Bar Council has urged the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to withdraw the prohibition of access to online news portal The Malaysian Insider, saying that it must act in accordance with the law.

Its president Steven Thiru (pic) said that MCMC could not invoke Section 263(2) of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) for barring public access to websites on unjustifiable grounds.

“As a responsible regulator, MCMC must always act in accordance with the law and must not arrogate to itself powers that have not been conferred on it by Parliament.

The action taken by MCMC against TMI appears to be unsustainable in law,” said Steven in a statement on Tuesday.

Last Thursday, the MCMC said it had blocked The Malaysian Insider for violating the CMA.

Police have questioned several staff of the news portal concerning an article relating to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

MCMC also reminded other news portals not to spread or publish articles from unconfirmed sources as the act could create confusion and could trigger an unwanted situation.

Steven, however, said that causing public confusion is not, and cannot be, an offence under Section 263 of the CMA.

“It is quite puzzling that anyone could consider causing public confusion to be an offence at all.

It is also rather demeaning and offensive to assume that Malaysians will be “confused” merely as a result of contradictory statements in the press, or because the source of press statements was not disclosed,” he said.-The Star Online

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