Banning The Malaysian Insider is like using a sledgehammer to kill a fly – what is the Najib government trying to hide?

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, seems to be fulfilling his vow made during the recent commemoration of his 40 years of involvement of politics – with reams and reams of congratulatory advertorials finally paid for by the taxpayers – that he would strive to take Malaysia to “greater heights”.

Malaysia had never achieved “greater heights” in corruption than under the Najib premiership – being named third in the world’s “worst corruption scandals in 2015” and dropping four places in Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2015.

Now, Najib has brought Malaysia to a new “greater height” of being the first Prime Minister in Malaysia to violate the 20-year Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) Bill of Guarantees of “No Censorship of the Internet”, a guarantee made by Tun Dr. Mahathir when he was Prime Minister “as a gift to the world”, with the ban yesterday on the news portal, The Malaysian Insider.

Described world-wide as the latest in a series of clampdowns on media organisations that have published reports critical of the government and the Prime Minister, particularly over Najib’s RM55 billion 1MDB and RM2.6 billion “donation” twin mega scandals, Malaysians and international opinion can only ask Najib what is he trying to hide and suppress when he has to use a sledgehammer to try to kill a fly and cannot rely anymore on the plain truth and nothing but the truth to win in the world of ideas?

The government has a plethora of laws against Internet abuse and the ban on The Malaysian Insider is completely unjustifiable, especially as the news portal had not received any prior notice of the ban.

I call on the Prime Minister to uphold and abide by the 20-year Bill of Guarantee to the world of “No Internet Censorship”, immediately revoke the ban and ensure that good sense prevails and refrain from the precipitate rush towards “parliamentary dictatorship” first foreshadowed by the rush to enact the National Security Council Bill in December last year usurping the constitutional powers of the Yang di Pertuan Agong, the Cabinet, the Sarawak and Sabah State Governments and the 11 State Governments in Peninsular Malaysia to enable the Prime Minister to declare an unconstitutional “de facto” state of emergency.

Najib should come clean on the twin mega scandals, uphold the fundamental liberties and human rights guaranteed in the Constitution and be true to the oath of office as Prime Minister protect and defend democracy in Malaysia instead of being the destroyer of the Malaysian Constitution and democracy.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah