Government urged to respect freedom of speech, stop censoring InternetWAN AHMAD ATARMIZI
SHAH ALAM - Three activists have spoken out against the government's alleged attempts to limit freedom of speech.
Parti Pejuang Tanah Air's (Pejuang) information chief and lawyer Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali, former MP Wee Choo Keong, and vocal government critic Salim Iskandar held a press conference earlier today to express their concerns.
"Freedom of speech is a basic right protected by Article 10 of the Federal Constitution.
"The government cannot censor the internet or restrict people's ability to express their views," Rafique said.
Wee said that his blog was allegedly blocked by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) without warning.
He said that the MCMC had no justification for blocking his blog, which has been running for 18 years and has never violated any laws.
"My blog has an 18-year history and has produced over 1000 articles. I can state unequivocally that the content has always obeyed the law while avoiding the sensitive trappings of the 3R (race, religion, and royalty) issues.
"It is worth mentioning that, in its 18-year history under various Prime Ministers, MCMC has never once expressed concern about the contenst of my blog," he said.
Meanwhile Salim said that his mobile internet service were allegedly restricted by the MCMC after he criticised the government on Twitter.
Salim has claimed that MCMC did not give him any reason for restricting his service.
"To Telco companies, every month you collect my payment, I payed for your services without any problem, but when this happened, you did not even consult or ask MCMC the reason for my mobile phone and internet restriction. You just remained silent. Do not be a 'Budak Suruhan'. As customer, I am extremely disappointed," Salim added.
The three men called on the government to respect freedom of speech and to stop censoring the internet.
They also urged Malaysians to stand up for their rights and to not be afraid to speak out against the government.