Kuala Lumpur, May 29 (IANS) The new Malaysian government has unblocked several media sites, years after they were blocked by the previous Najib Razak government.
In a Facebook post, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission announced that sites including Sarawak Report, an investigative journalism site, and Medium were unblocked, reports Efe news.
The Malaysian Insider (TMI) and its mirror site The Malaysian Outsider were also unblocked last week after being off the web and blocked for more than two years.
In its post, the commission said there was no longer any need to block those sites since the 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) report had been made public.
Former Prime Minister Najib Razak has been accused of diverting almost $700 million into his personal accounts from 1MDB, a government strategic development company.
Sarawak Report, launched in early 2010 by a British journalist, focused on environmental and corruption scandals in Malaysia.
In August 2015, it published a story related to the alleged transfer of 42 million ringgit ($10.5 million) from a 1MDB subsidiary into Najib’s account, and the site was blocked.
The outlet circumvented the ban by posting content on mirror sites and on Medium, but after Medium refused government orders to stop hosting Sarawak Report it too was blocked.
TMI came under government scrutiny around July 2015 also for its coverage of the 1MDB scandal, which led to a suspension of its publishing permits, financial difficulties, and TMI editor Jahabar Sadiq shutting down the site on March 15, 2016.
After the ban was lifted, Sadiq told Efe: “For the first time since independence we have an environment in which people can speak their minds, publish and be damned.”