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Despite being blocked, Asia Sentinel says will continue reporting on corruption in M’sia

KUALA LUMPUR — Regional news agency Asia Sentinel believes that its website is blocked after a post on a Sarawak Report article related to Malaysia’s anti-graft body completion of probe on Mr Najib Razak and the alleged 37 charges drawn up against the prime minister.

Access to the Asia Sentinel website is blocked but Malaysians can still access it today. Photo: The Malaysian Insider

Access to the Asia Sentinel website is blocked but Malaysians can still access it today. Photo: The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR — Regional news agency Asia Sentinel believes that its website is blocked after a post on a Sarawak Report article related to Malaysia’s anti-graft body completion of probe on Mr Najib Razak and the alleged 37 charges drawn up against the prime minister.

Its editor Mr John Berthelsen told The Malaysian Insider that the agency had been informed of the block by readers but the Malaysian authorities had yet to provide him with any official notification.

The article, titled “Malaysian PM Najib on way out, report says” was published on the site on Monday (Jan 18).

Checks, however, showed that Asia Sentinel was generally accessible in Malaysia today.

Mr Berthelsen said he regretted the Malaysian government’s move to block the site, as it denied readers vital information not carried in the country’s mainstream media.

“I am certain it was blocked because we did a piece based on Sarawak Report’s story about charges being sent to the A-G on the prime minister.

“We regret that the authorities have chosen to do so, because we believe that it denies tens of thousands of readers a vital source of information on Malaysia that their own mainstream media refuse to give them,” he said in an email reply.

Mr Berthelsen also said that Asia Sentinel would continue to report on corruption in Malaysia.

“We will continue to report on what is obviously deep, deep corruption on the part of not only the prime minister but the party he represents.”

On Monday, the Attorney-General’s Chambers returned investigation papers into former 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd and the RM2.6 billion (S$850 million) donation to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), seeking more information.

Attorney-General (A-G) Mohamed Apandi Ali said in a statement he wanted additional information on the suggestions and recommendations MACC made on the two cases.

His statement came hours after Asia Sentinel reported whistleblower site Sarawak Report claiming the investigation papers contained at least 37 separate charges against the prime minister.

MACC however denied the Sarawak Report article that its investigation papers on the RM2.6 billion donation and SRC International included 37 recommended charges against Mr Najib.

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission had blocked access in Malaysia to the UK-based Sarawak Report in July last year, on grounds that its articles on controversial state-owned investment fund 1MDB were a threat to national order and security.

Following that, in October, it blocked news aggregator website Malaysia Chronicle ahead of Mr Najib’s Budget 2016 speech. THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER

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