Malaysia – The death of Freedom of Information


Freedom of information is an extension of freedom of speech, a fundamental human right recognized in international law, which is today understood more generally as freedom of expression in any medium, be it orally, in writing, print, through the Internet or through art forms… – Wiki


The Malaysian Insider

Sarawak Report says MCMC blocking site further discredits Putrajaya

Sarawak Report

The main page of Sarawak Report that visitors from Malaysia will see upon trying to access Sarawak Report’s website, http://www.sarawakreport.org, following the move by the MCMC to block access to the whistleblower site. – ‘Sarawak Report’ website screenshot pic, July 19, 2015.

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Whistleblower site Sarawak Report has labelled the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC)’s blocking of the site today as an act that will only bring further “discredit” to Putrajaya.

MCMC confirmed today that it has blocked local access to the site as it was threatening “national stability” following months of exposes pertaining to business dealings of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), the state-owned investment arm.

But Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown (pic, left) said that they would not be perturbed by the MCMC move and vowed to continue with its exposes on the scandal and other relevant issues.

“Sarawak Report will not be impeded in any way by this action in bringing out future information as and when its investigations deliver further evidence,” she said in a statement issued tonight.

Rewcastle-Brown questioned if there is a “single person” who would believe MCMC’s claim that the site is threatening national stability.

“So far, no one in the Malaysian government has had the guts to take Sarawak Report formally to task over any factual detail of our revelations or issue legal proceedings which would trigger a public examination of the evidence.

“This is because our information is overwhelming, easily proven and patently substantiated by a mass of corroborative factual evidence,” she said.

Rewcastle-Brown noted that as Putrajaya was not in a position to refute the evidence, certain members of the government had instead spent the last few weeks doing their best to distract from the issue by attacking the integrity of Sarawak Report.

BN’s strategic communications director Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan, who is also a Cabinet member, recently used a “confession” by a former Sarawakian journalist, Lester Melanyi, to claim that Sarawak Report had forged and tampered with 1MDB-related documents that led to its exposes.

He also claimed that opposition politicians had worked hand-in-hand with the London-based site.

Rewcastle-Brown said that ministers had shouted about forged, tampered or distorted documents, but they have been unable to highlight even one example of such a deed to date.

She also said that if Sarawak Report exposes were a mere plot and not based on facts, politicians from both side of the political divide would not be voicing anger and concern about 1MDB.

“If all our exposes were a dark and tangled plot of elaborate forgeries and lies, why is it that politicians across the political spectrum have been voicing anger and concern for months and years about the growing indebtedness and missing billions at 1MDB?

“And why is there a mass of official investigations being conducted into this very matter?” she asked.

The state investment arm, a brainchild of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, sits on a RM42 billion debt accumulated over six years.

Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is among its chief critics. – July 20, 2015.

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