S’gor floods: MCMC tries to remove posts critical of govt, Twitter says ‘No’
Published: Dec 23, 2021 2:57 PM⋅Updated: 4:44 PM
The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has unsuccessfully sought to remove Twitter posts that are critical of the government’s handling of last weekend’s flash floods that have devastated communities, particularly in parts of Selangor and Pahang.
A netizen posted yesterday that he had received an email from Twitter informing him about a request made by MCMC to the micro-blogging site to remove his Twitter posts.
However, Twitter rejected MCMC’s request.
“In the interest of transparency, we are writing to inform you that Twitter has received a request from MCMC regarding your Twitter account that claims the following content violates the law(s) of Malaysia.
“We have not taken any action on the reported content at this time as a result of this request,” said the email from Twitter, which was shared by the netizen who uses Twitterhandle @BadBoy2662.
Based on the email, the contents that MCMC wants removed include a tweet where the netizen criticised a flood fundraising event that involved Women, Family and Community Development Minister Rina Harun.
The other content that MCMC took issue with was a tweet that criticised Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Noh Omar over the latter’s statement regarding the eligibility of flood victims to claim government aid.
When contacted for comments over the allegation, Communications and Multimedia Minister Annuar Musa only gave a short reply to Malaysiakini last night
“Karut…,” he said in a text message. Karut means nonsense in Bahasa Malaysia.
However, MCMC when contacted earlier today did not deny the matter, and said they have reported to Twitter several hashtags that are “obscene”.
In a short statement, the commission said they made the request to ensure the law as per Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 is complied with.
Section 233 of the CMA stipulates offences related to improper use of network facilities or services, and was commonly used to crackdown netizens who upload social media posts that authorities deem as offensive or can potentially incite hatred, among others.
Malaysiakini learnt that the Twitter user @BadBoy2662 was not the only account that had been reported by MCMC to Twitter.
In one of the replies to @BadBoy2662’s post about MCMC failed attempt, another Twitter user also shared a similar experience.
@cheryltanxr__ wrote: “I also kena lmao” (I also experienced this).
Checks on her account found that she has already deleted the original tweet that MCMC had taken issue with. However, based on another tweet, it was understood that she had criticised a flood relief shelter over alleged discrimination against foreigners.
“Some of you may be wondering where my tweet about one of the shelters discriminating foreigners went. Just want to update here that I’ve received a warning from Twitter and MCMC asking me to remove my tweet as I’ve violated Malaysian laws.
“I would love to keep the tweet up and see how far they’re willing to go, but my parents are not happy with me. Just know that our government has the [REDACTED] audacity to do nonsense like this and try to silence voices over actually being helpful at this time,” she tweeted early in the morning yesterday.
According to Twitter’s transparency report, the platform had received 194 legal demands from Malaysia to remove content last year, affecting 219 Twitter accounts. This may include requests both from government entities and lawyers representing individuals.
Twitter had complied with 59.2 percent of the requests. In 127 of the accounts where action was taken, the offending accounts had also violated Twitter’s own terms of service.
Frustration over govt’s rescue response, ‘publicity’ visits boils over online
Published: Dec 23, 2021 5:00 PM⋅Updated: 6:23 PM
Frustration and anger over the government’s poor rescue response towards the floods as well as some politicians’ perceived exploitation of the disaster for publicity are boiling over on social media.
Netizens have posted various videos of flood victims reacting negatively to ministers visiting the affected areas or pointing out the lacklustre rescue and relief efforts by the government, among others.
Some of the videos posted include one by Twitter user Farid Reduan, who said his one-minute clip was taken at Bukit Changgang, Selangor.
In the video, what appears to be a government official’s car convoy, escorted by police riders, was seen driving past several people resting under a blue tent.
A woman sitting at the tent is heard quipping sarcastically as the cars pass by:
“Thank you, you guys helped out so much.
“Wow, so many (cars) here to help out with the flood.
“Tomorrow, when the flood has subsided, come again yeah,” she is heard saying, with some laughing at her last remark.
Another video was posted by a TV3 reporter, which showed a man identified only as Pak Din at the SK Telok Gong temporary shelter in Port Klang, Selangor. The reporter said there is a lack of food and water supplies at the shelter.
The incensed man appeared to be scolding someone off-camera in the 45-second video clip.
“We are hoping for help from donors. Where is the government!
“What is your responsibility? We chose you to manage our safety and our lives.
“We have now been struck with disaster, three days here and we only received help from donors. Help, where is the National Security Council? Where is the Welfare Department?” he questioned.
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