TMI banned on grounds of ‘national security’

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 25): The Malaysian Insider turns eight today but has been blocked by several Internet providers, following a ban for "national security" reasons by Malaysia's Internet regulators.

Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) enforcement chief Zulkarnain Mohd Yasin confirmed the ban in a text message.

"We will issue a statement," he told The Malaysian Insider.

However, sources said MCMC had ordered Internet Service Providers to block The Malaysian Insider for "national security" reasons.

It had wanted this as the nature of the offence might affect national stability, public order and harmony, and economic stability.

Several readers alerted The Malaysian Insider when they discovered they were unable to access the news portal as it had been "banned" by MCMC.

Some readers using Celcom and Unifi, both provided by state-controlled firms, complained about the block.

Some using Maxis however said they could still access the site on their phones, despite the directive that all ISPs block the site.

Blocked users were greeted with a note that said the news portal had flouted Malaysian laws.

However, no notice was sent to The Malaysian Insider about flouting any laws.

"This is an unpleasant surprise. MCMC has replied to my query and said they will issue a statement," editor and chief executive Jahabar Sadiq said today.