KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 24 ― DAP’s Lim Kit Siang has called on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to intervene and reprimand the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) for its attempt to get Twitter to remove user postings that were critical of the federal government’s handling of last week’s flood crisis.
Calling the removal request instituted by MCMC shocking, the Iskandar Puteri MP further compelled Ismail Sabri to order a full inquiry into MCMC’s action and even remove those in MCMC responsible for making such request.
“The prime minister should reprimand the MCMC and declare that he will not stop Malaysians from exercising their constitutional right to free speech to criticise the government and his ministers,” he said in a statement.
Lim also said Ismail Sabri should inform the public as to the number of occasions the MCMC has asked Twitter to remove critical postings and to identify the postings concerned.
This he said, was necessitated by Communications and Multimedia minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa seemingly being out of loop of the regulatory body’s request to Twitter.
Recently, it was reported that MCMC failed in its attempt to get Twitter to remove some posts and hashtags on the social media platform that was critical of the federal government’s handling of last weekend’s floods.
The regulatory body claimed it had to take such action to “uphold Malaysia’s laws”. However, Twitter did not take any action against the tweets despite MCMC’s request.
In a legal notification to users, Twitter informed that they had “received a request from the MCMC regarding your Twitter account that claims the following content violates the law(s) of Malaysia.”
“We have not taken any action on the reported content at this time as a result of this request,” it added.
Twitter said that as it strongly believed in defending and respecting users, it was notifying users upon receiving such requests from MCMC.