KUALA LUMPUR: The Foreign Ministry said, while Malaysia upholds freedom of speech and right to information, such freedom and right must be exercised with accountability.
In a statement released last night, Wisma Putra said the decision of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to impose a ban on The Malaysian Insider was after careful consideration on the impact on freedom of speech and freedom of press in Malaysia.
The news portal was banned on Feb 25 for violating the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.
Wisma Putra issued the statement after John Kirby, the spokesperson of US Department of State, said in a recent statement that the US was concerned by Malaysian government’s recent actions to restrict access to domestic and international reporting on its current affairs.
“The Government of Malaysia has a responsibility to maintain peace, stability and harmony in the country and to safeguard the multiracial and multicultural values, norms and practices in Malaysia.
The statement pointed out that Malaysia values its comprehensive partnership with the United States (US), which signifies our sincere desire to maintain a progressive and dynamic partnership in a wide area of cooperation for the mutual benefit of the two countries.
“Malaysia believes that the US shares and reciprocates this sentiment and that the bilateral ties could be further strengthened to greater heights through closer cooperation and better understanding of the domestic issues in Malaysia,” it added.