(Aug 27): Malaysia's Internet regulator has moved to block websites that promote and spread information about this weekend's Bersih 4 rally, as support for the 34-hour street gathering appears to grow.
A notice posted on the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission's (MCMC) Facebook page said the decision was made to block websites that "promote, spread information and encourage people to join the Bersih 4 demonstration", on grounds that this will "threaten national stability".
The move comes merely days after Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Salleh Said Keruak said MCMC has no plans to block websites pertaining to Bersih 4.
Apart from saying that signal jamming devices will not be deployed during the rally this weekend, he said that MCMC would only monitor social media platforms, blogs and websites that give publicity to the event.
MCMC's announcement today follows the Home Ministry's declaration that Bersih 4 was "illegal" and its continuous labelling of the rally as an "illegal rally".
It said that based on the ministry's statement, Bersih was "tarnishing the country's image".
It also said that Bersih is spreading information and propaganda that is causing "anxiety" among the people and can pose a threat to public order, security, economic prosperity and sovereignty of the state.
"MCMC would like to remind the people to be careful in sharing any information in social media or websites, especially information that can contravene with Malaysia's laws," it said.
Previously, MCMC blocked whistleblower site Sarawak Report following a series of exposes regarding the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.
However, the blocks were circumvented using proxy servers, and Sarawak Report's readership persisted. – The Malaysian Insider