Local news portal blocked, MCMC urged to explain reason (Update: MCMC investigating issue, says site unblocked)


Geramm, a loose coalition of media practitioners and supporters of press freedom in Malaysia, has called on MCMC to explain its mechanism on access blocks enforced on websites, particularly online news portals. — Image by DCStudio on Freepik

Update: MCMC has said it is investigating the UtusanTV issue and claims that the site has been unblocked.

PETALING JAYA: Following the blocking of local news portal UtusanTV by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), questions have swirled over the reason for the block.

Geramm, a loose coalition of media practitioners and supporters of press freedom in Malaysia, has called on MCMC to explain its mechanism on access blocks enforced on websites, particularly online news portals.

It said that MCMC should include prior notice or warning to the targeted media before a block is enforced.

Non-governmental organisation Bersih in a statement today said there should be a transparent process with a show cause letter and appeal opportunity before any blocking.

When contacted by LifestyleTech, MCMC said that the matter is under investigation.

The news portal has been inaccessible since Monday (Aug 7). Users were greeted with a notice by MCMC stating that the “website is not available in Malaysia as it violates the National Law”. As of last checks, the website remains offline today (Aug 8).

Meanwhile Utusan Malaysia, which operates under Media Mulia Sdn Bhd, has issued a notice stating that its publication and parent company have no relations whatsoever to UtusanTV.

It added that the use of the name ‘Utusan’ has caused confusion as to its ownership and it has often been linked to Utusan Malaysia and Media Mulia.

The notice further stressed that Utusan Malaysia has no relations to the content, ownership, management and operations of UtusanTV which is owned by another company.

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