Malaysia ‘trying to put internet genie back in bottle’ with planned curbs

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Human Rights Watch on Thursday expressed concern over planned amendments to a Malaysian media law that would give broader powers to the authorities to stifle online dissent, amid a wider crackdown on free speech and assembly. The U.S.-based rights group’s report comes as Prime Minister Najib Razak battles criticism over his handling of a multi-billion dollar financial scandal at state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). “What Malaysia is trying to do is put the internet genie back in the bottle, back to a time when the government had greater control over information received by its citizens,” HRW Asia deputy director Phil Robertson told reporters.

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