SHAH ALAM: Online news portal The Malaysian Insider (TMI) landed in trouble because it had breached Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 by publishing an article which contradicted a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission official statement.
Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak said the article also quoted an unnamed source and this could confuse the public.
Dr Salleh added that the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) had initiated action against TMI after receiving complaints about the article.
"I was informed by the MCMC that they had received public complaints over the article and had initiated preliminary investigations," Dr Salleh told reporters after launching the Karangkraf Carnival 2016 here on Friday.
The TMI article had quoted an unnamed MACC source allegedly saying there was sufficient proof to incriminate Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
However, MACC Operations Review Panel chairman Tan Sri Hamid Bugo denied the article and said the unnamed source had misrepresented the panel's decision on the matter.
Dr Salleh said the MCMC had decided to block TMI only after investigations indicated a breach of Section 233 of the Act.
"They are now conducting a full investigation with the cooperation of the police and necessary action will be taken as there are many laws which can be applied in this case," he added.
Dr Salleh added the MCMC, which functions independently, does not simply block sites but will only initiate investigations if it received public complaints.
He added preliminary investigations would be first carried out to ascertain if there was a basis to the complaint and if there weren't any, the matter would not be pursued.
"We need a full investigations by the MCMC so that we can take the necessary action. That is the procedure," he added.
Dr Salleh said there was freedom of speech in Malaysia and people can have differences of opinion and give their views.
"There are many websites which give different views and criticise the government and that is not a problem.
"We are not controlling your views and if you disagree with the government there is no problem," said Dr Salleh.
However, he added, there was a need to be responsible and not to flout laws under Section 233.