MCMC raids M’kini, confiscates two computers
The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) raided the Malaysiakini office in Petaling Jaya and confiscated two computers this afternoon.
This is to facilitate its investigations on two videos uploaded by KiniTV in July under Section 233 (1) of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) for alleged improper network use.
The videos – one in Bahasa Malaysia and another in English – were of a press conference by former Batu Kawan Umno vice-chief Khairuddin Abu Hassan after lodging a report at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
During the press conference, Khairuddin had criticised attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali, demanding that he resign for refusing to prosecute in the 1MDB case.
Led by deputy director of the enforcement and investigation unit, Akmal Hamdy Baharudin, the six-member MCMC team was armed with a search warrant and spent about four hours at the Malaysiakini office before leaving with the two computers.
The regulators had two months ago instructed KiniTV to remove both videos for allegedly breaching the CMA.
KiniTV responded by refusing to take down the videos, but edited out the word ‘haprak’ (northern Malay slang to mean ‘worse than useless’) used by Khairuddin to describe the AG.
Editor-in-chief Steven Gan told MCMC officers that we had uploaded the videos pursuant to our duty as journalists to report events of public importance.
“The investigations into 1MDB, and the position of the attorney-general are matters of great public interest and legitimate sources of public discourse. As we understand it, pursuant to Section 3 of CMA, censorship of the Internet is prohibited.”
He said while Malaysiakini didn’t think the videos were in violation of Section 233 of the CMA, but as a show of goodwill, we had removed the word ‘haprak’ from the videos.
“We believe that there is nothing wrong with the rest of the content of both videos and removing them will impinge on our duty as journalists in reporting issues of public interest.”
The incident today comes about a year after the MCMC’s and police’s raid on the news website’s office on Nov 6, 2015.
In last year’s raid, the authorities seized a computer over a news report that a deputy public prosecutor was transferred out of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) special operations division.