KUALA LUMPUR: The decision of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to impose a ban on The Malaysian Insider was made following careful and due consideration on the impact of such a ban on freedom of speech and freedom of press in Malaysia, Wisma Putra said.
The Foreign Ministry said in a statement Thursday night, that while Malaysia upholds freedom of speech and right to information, such freedom and right must be exercised responsibly and with accountability.
"The Government of Malaysia has a responsibility to maintain peace, stability and harmony in the country and to safeguard the multiracial and multicultural values, norms and practices in Malaysia.
"Malaysia values its comprehensive partnership with the United States (US), which signifies our sincere desire to maintain a progressive and dynamic partnership in a wide area of cooperation for the mutual benefit of the two countries.
"Malaysia believes that the US shares and reciprocates this sentiment and that the bilateral ties could be further strengthened to greater heights through closer cooperation and better understanding of the domestic issues in Malaysia," the statement said.
The statement was issued after the US Department of State spokesperson John Kirby, in a statement, said that the US was very concerned by Malaysian government's recent actions to restrict access to domestic and international reporting on its current affairs
TMI was banned for violating the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 on Feb 25.