Financial Times, UK
By John Burton in Singapore
Published: August 29 2008 03:00 | Last updated: August 29 2008 03:00
Malaysia’s leading political blog was being blocked yesterday in what was seen as a crackdown on internet websites credited with contributing to government losses in this year’s general election.
The move came as former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim was being sworn in as the new opposition leader following a by-election victory this week that returned him to parliament for the first time in a decade.
Mr Anwar vowed to mount a no-confidence vote against the government by midSeptember.
The Malaysia Today website was blocked by state-owned Telekom Malaysia, the country’s leading internet service provider, on the orders of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, which said comments posted on it were “insensitive, bordering on incitement”.
The MCMC action represents an apparent reversal of government promises not to censor the internet, except for pornographic websites. The policy was introduced in the 1990s to encourage foreign investment in the showcase Multimedia Super Corridor, near Kuala Lumpur. [more]
The Star on Line
By NURBAITI HAMDAN and CHEOK LI PENG
PETALING JAYA: All 21 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the country have been ordered by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to block the controversial Malaysia Today website, an industry source revealed.
The notices were sent out on Tuesday in accordance with Section 263 of the Communications and Multimedia Act.
“This means that MCMC is allowed to block any particular website which has committed acts that contravene the local laws of the country, for example, sedition,” the source said.
Meanwhile, Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamaruddin lashed out against the blocking of the online portal, saying it was a breach of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) charter. [more]
July 29, 2008
It’s been a month since an aide to Anwar Ibrahim accused the Malaysian opposition leader of sodomy, yet no formal charge has been filed nor has Mr. Anwar been allowed to see the police report filed against him. Now, the case against Mr. Anwar looks shakier still.
Yesterday, Mr. Anwar’s supporters pointed to an independent political blog, MalaysiaToday, which posted a two-page medical report it said was written by a doctor who examined Saiful Bukhari Azlan on June 28, the day the aide went to the police with his complaint. The alleged report is written in shorthand and signed by Dr. Mohamed Osman Abdul Hamid. It says that a rectal examination showed no active bleeding, tears or injury.
The hospital yesterday confirmed that Dr. Mohamed is on staff, but wouldn’t comment on the report. MalaysiaToday’s editor, Raja Petra Kamarudin, confirmed to us by telephone that he has seen the original report. Dr. Mohamed hasn’t been seen since the post on MalaysiaToday. A spokesman for the Prime Minister’s office declined comment to us. The Deputy Inspector-General of Police told the New Straits Times that investigations were continuing.
This great wall of silence raises many questions. If it’s true that Mr. Anwar’s aide didn’t present any physical signs of injury at the hospital, then on what basis was the police report filed? If the aide went to a government hospital to get a second opinion — as required under the law in sodomy cases, and as the first doctor suggested — what did that second doctor see? And why is the accuser, Mr. Saiful, still formally under police protection?
This has hallmarks of a case being built after, not before, the purported “crime.” [more]
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