PETALING JAYA: The actions taken with regards to several news websites is to ensure that information spread to the public is done responsibly, says the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).
It added that what it is doing is to also ensure that information is spread without slander or misinformation.
The MCMC said this in response to theReporters Without Borders open statement titled ‘RSF denounces arbitrary suspension of news websites critical of the government’ on Friday (Sept 1).
It then said in the statement on Saturday (Sept 2) that as a regulatory body it operates under the provisions of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.
"One of the key national policy objectives of the MCMC is to provide the people of Malaysia with protection from the adverse effect of online harm, including misinformation and hate speech," it said.
The MCMC added that its responsibilities include safeguarding the integrity of the constitutional monarchy and democratic institutions from any attempts to incite hatred or contempt.
"One of the key responsibilities of the MCMC is also to prevent misuse of online platforms for committing offenses under Malaysian laws. With the increasing prevalence of online information, there has been a rise in irresponsible and inaccurate reporting," it added.
The MCMC then said that some news outlets have been found intentionally spreading misleading information or publishing inaccurate content which can harm harmony in Malaysia.
It added that it has the authority and duty to take regulatory action against the spread of fake, offensive and menacing content.
"The Commission is open to dialogue and regularly engages with senior editors and journalists to address concerns and issues related to freedom of expression," said the MCMC.
It added that it "aims to work hand in hand with the media fraternity to combat the rise of misinformation and malicious disinformation."