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June 24, 2024

The Anwar Administration and Online Activism

malaysian anwar
The surging number of takedown demands comes amid deepening criticism that the multi-coalition “unity government” led by Malaysian PM Anwar Ibrahim's PH alliance, is clamping down on free speech. VIA REUTERS
June 24, 2024

Malaysia’s Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil has been outspoken on the government’s stance regarding online censoring of pro-Palestinian content by U.S.-based ICT companies. Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s administration ensures that they will safeguard online, humanitarian activism, including consumers’ right to abstain from purchasing certain brands, which is a high priority issue for Malaysians. At the same time, the government still emphasizes the importance of commercial and political ties to the U.S. and its private sector.

Firm in his neutrality, Prime Minister Anwar met with Ismail Haniyeh, a high-ranking Palestinian official, in Qatar on May 13 for a strictly humanitarian dialogue. Given pre-existing policy and geopolitical tensions, the Malaysian leader and Ministry of Communications were displeased to see their official social media post covering the meeting taken down by the outlet’s parent company, urging U.S.-based site moderators to reevaluate their content criteria. The Malaysian Government is currently requesting an explanation in lieu of reactionary measures.

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