The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission said it made several proposals and recommendations for action in the case, according to a statement Thursday. While it has completed investigations involving witnesses in the country, the MACC said it still needs permission from the attorney general to get documents and evidence from overseas financial institutions."This evidence can only be taken by the Mutual Legal Assistance process because it is tied to the provision of banking legislation of the country concerned," the agency said. "MACC has made an application under the MLA to attorney general to obtain documents and evidence." - Bloomberg Business, 31/12/2015, Malaysian Anti-Graft Agency Submits Probe Results of Najib Funds
Chairman of Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission
Malaysian Bar - The Attorney General Must Reconsider MACC’s Investigation Papers on the Transfer of Funds into the Personal Bank Accounts of the Prime Minister
TM blocks access to Malaysian Insider? Based on Multimedia Commission's request based on an alleged offence? Unjust and draconian?
Bar :- Misuse of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 to Stifle Freedom of Speech and Expression Must End
Isu SRC International Dan RM2.6 Bilion: Panel Penilaian Operasi Nasihati SPRM Supaya Ambil Tindakan Lanjut
24 FEBRUARI 2016
Malaysia blocks another news portal as 1MDB scandal deepens over oversight panel probing fund
In a statement released on 25 February, the commission said restrictions were imposed after material published by the news portal were deemed to fall under Section 233 of the Act. "The restriction was also done by the MCMC based on several complaints received from the public."
The commission also reminded other news portals not to "spread or publish articles from unconfirmed sources as the act could create confusion and could trigger an unwanted situation." Those who try to gain access to the news portal are forwarded to the commission's page stating that the website is "unavailable in Malaysia as it violates the National laws."
The portal's editor and chief executive Jahabar Sadiq said that the company had not received any notice from the authorities. "This is an unpleasant surprise. I've tried to contact the MCMC but the officers are in a meeting," Jahabar said.
He has however taken the move in his stride, joking on Twitter that the portal has become the malaysianoutsider.com. Malaysian Insider has asked readers to gain access to its portal via its Facebook page.
This is not the first time the authorities have clamped down on the media. In July last year, the government meted out a three month suspension to The Edge publication for its coverage of 1MDB, claiming that it threatened public order and national security.
The authorities also blocked access to British-based portal, the Sarawak Report, because it violated internet laws. The website, run by Clare Rewcastle-Brown, former BBC journalist and sister-in-law to former prime minister Gordon Brown, had published reports and documents alleging graft and mismanagement at 1MDB.
So what did The Malaysian Insider publish? On 25 February, it claimed that the Operations Review Panel had advised the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to re-submit two investigation papers on SRC International Sdn Bhd, a company linked to 1MDB, to the attorney general, saying that there is credible evidence to frame charges against Prime Minister Najib Razak.
The website quoted a panel member who did not wish to be identified as saying: "The MACC investigators had collected sufficient evidence to prove a prima facie case against Najib. We came to the conclusion as MACC investigators had also briefed us on the case. They had also answered all our queries." The panel is said to have told investigators to resubmit their investigation papers to the attorney-general.
Attorney General Mohamed Apandi Ali, who recently took up his post after his predecessor was let go due on health reasons by Najib, had on 26 January stated that there was insufficient evidence to charge the prime minister over 1MDB.
The claims made by The Malaysian Insider report were vehemently denied by the authorities. Hamid Bugo, the panel chairman, claimed that the person who had spoken to the news portal was not authorised to so and had misrepresented what the panel had decided.
"We further wish to add that [the] panel did not at any time say that it had 'enough proof to charge Najib over SRC' as claimed by the title of the article, or that 'there is credible evidence to frame charges'," against the prime minister, the statement said. Further, the panel also did not conclude that sufficient evidence had been gathered to prove a prima facie case against Najib.
Bugo however acknowledged that the panel did advise MACC to complete its investigation. This has been confirmed by MACC in a statement on its website. The panel had recommended that help be sought for Mutual Legal Assistance to enable it to obtain evidence and documents from financial institutions outside the country as part of the investigation.
There is another twist. The terms of the oversight panel, whose members are appointed by the prime minister, expired on 24 February 2016. No replacements were announced, giving rise to fears on whether the panel will continue in its present form.
MACC head Abu Kassim Mohamad denied news reports that the panel was being abolished. He said the government was in the process of appointing members to both the Operations Review Panel and the Consultation and Corruption Prevention Panel, which were formed under the MACC Act 2009.
He also said the panel's recommendation to MACC on 1MDB should not be misinterpreted as challenging the attorney general who had already cleared Najib of any wrongdoing. He stressed that the power to prosecute lies with the Attorney-General under the federal constitution.
According to the Wall Street Journal, a Malaysian parliamentary committee looking into allegations of graft at 1MDB said it would delay until early March a meeting scheduled for this week to scrutinise the report by AG Mohamed Apandi on 1MDB's activities.
Hamid distances himself from article statements
In an article in The Malaysian Insider, an anonymous panel member was cited as making “various statements attributed to the panel”.
“We wish to state that no anonymous source is authorised to speak for and on behalf of the panel under any circumstances.
“In any event, we hereby expressly disassociate ourselves from all such statements,” said the statement signed by Hamid and another panel member Tan Sri Mohamed Jawhar Hassan.
“The panel did not conclude that the MACC investigators had collected sufficient evidence to prove a prima facie case against Najib,” he said.
The panel of the anti-graft body was set up under the MACC Act 2009.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has confirmed that it has blocked The Malaysian Insider, for violating the Communication and Multimedia Act 1998.
“The restriction was done by the MCMC based on several complaints received from the public,” it said in a statement yesterday.- Star, 26/2/2016
MCMC confirms Malaysian Insider ban, warns others against publishing unverified reports
In a statement today, MCMC stated that the restriction was also based on complaints and information received from the public.
MCMC also warned other news portals against publishing unverified reports since this will cause confusion and untoward incident.
Earlier today, access to news portal The Malaysian Insider has been blocked by several internet service providers for violating the country's law.
The ban was reported to have affected Celcom and Unifi users.
The Malaysian Insider, in a response earlier, said that it never received any notice prior to the ban.- Astro Awani, 25/2/2016
MCMC Sekat Laman The Malaysian Insider
“One of their articles quoted a statement that could cause confusion because it contradicts with official statements by MACC.
“They don't mention who the source is. It could confuse the public,” he said after launching Karnival Karangkraf 2016 here today.
“We have no problems with freedom of speech, opinions can be shared. But there are information that must be mentioned.
“In this case, the panel member was not named. We must be responsible.
“There are many websites that criticise the government. It is not a problem,” Salleh said.
Salleh Said added that the action to block TMI’s site was based on complaints and initial investigations, and that the MCMC will cooperate with the police for the full investigation.
Yesterday, members of an independent MACC panel rejected a TMI report quoting an unnamed source from the panel claiming there was enough evidence to prosecute Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
In the statement issued by Tan Sri Hamid Bugo, the chairman of the Operations Review Panel, and another member, they said the individual who made the claim was not authorised to do so and had misrepresented what the panel decided.
Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act deal with the improper use of network facilities or network services, that include content that is “obscene, indecent, false, menacing or offensive in character with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass another person”.