KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s popular blog is now inaccessible, hours after he wrote about the need for a forensic audit of debt-laden 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). His chedet.cc blog now carries a 403 code, which means denied access to the webserver. The main page earlier displayed, “the account has been suspended”. Dr Mahathir has been critical of 1MDB and has asked for a full police investigation into the company that is wholly-owned by the government.
Putrajaya this week confirmed it has given a RM950 million standby credit for the strategic investment company to service its RM42 billion debt. It was learnt that the account could not be accessed since 4.30pm. Last year, Facebook was reported to have blocked Dr Mahathir’s blog, believed to be due to his strong criticism of the Jews in one of his blog post. The Star Online meanwhile, reported today that Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has denied it has anything to do with the site being blocked. Its strategic communications senior director Sheikh Raffie Abd Rahman said: “As far as I know, we had nothing to do with this. I suggest you check with the blog owner as to why the website is down.”
The last blog post Dr Mahathir wrote about today was on the need for a police forensic investigation into allegations against 1MDB and those it had done business with. He said a “mere audit” was insufficient and if action was not taken, people’s support for the ruling Barisan Nasional would fall. The post, its text copied, is now being shared on a Facebook page called “Saya Sayang Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad”. As of now, it has drawn more than 800 “likes” and has been shared more than 700 times.
The same Facebook page also noted in another posting soon after, that Dr Mahathir’s blog had been suspended. “Tiba-tiba chedet.cc tak boleh buka… ada yang panas ke?” (Suddenly, chedet.cc cannot be opened… is there something too hot to handle?) The post on the blog’s suspension drew a mix of reactions from other Facebook users. “They can block all the they want, but this is now a digital word. There will be some record somewhere,” said one user. “1MDB ni kes mahkamah ke? kalu bkn nape suspended blog tu… mana kebebasan bersuara?” (Is 1MDB a court case? If it isn’t, why suspend the blog, where is freedom of speech?”) said another user, while one also questioned if the former prime minister had become a tool of the opposition to criticise Putrajaya.