What’s goin’ on in Malaysia

UPDATE: The Malaysian Insider to shut down, Borneo Post Online

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(Photo credit: Malaysia Chronicle)

You know things are bad when even opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is willing to support his “arch nemesis” aka former PM Mahathir Mohamad in demanding current PM Najib Razak to resign. Razak is currently battling corruption allegations in the state fund 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

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(Photo credit: I Am Politikus)

Read the WSJ’s special coverage on the issue.

In protest, the former prime minister has even quit the party, the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO). (And I thought I would never see the day.)

On the cyber side of things, the government has also blocked online news portal, The Malaysian Insider, after it published a story on 1MDB. The official explanation: “National security,” of course. Not the government’s first rodeo in censoring the Internet, however. It has also previously blocked access to The Sarawak Report, Asia Sentinel, and Medium after they published similarly controversial articles. The United States has criticized Malaysia for restricting press freedom, but it’s not like that did anything (Malaysia defended its decision).

Furthermore, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission said that it has “blocked 52 new media websites and investigated 14 social media abuse cases since the setting up of the Special Committee to Combat Abuse of Social Media in January.” I wonder how does this Special Committee work? Most likely not transparent or accountable to the people.

In a sad attempt to show support for embattled PM Razak, the Twitter hashtag #RespectMyPM was created, and it totally backfired. (Did they really not see this coming?)

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