PUTRAJAYA, May 15 – The government has requested an explanation from Meta Platforms Inc (Meta) regarding its removal of news reports about Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s meeting with Hamas’ top leadership on several local media platforms.

At a press conference following the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Minister of Communications Fahmi Fadzil said the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) had sent a letter to Meta seeking clarification on the matter.

Fahmi, who is also the spokesperson for the Unity Government, said that two media organizations reported their posts about Anwar’s meeting with Hamas on their social media accounts had been removed, while another reported that its Facebook account had been deleted.

“As the Minister of Communications, I condemn Meta’s action to remove articles or posts from the media, especially since this is reporting on the Prime Minister’s official visit to Qatar.

“The posts were about a meeting with the political wing of an organisation, and not a militant or military wing,“ he said.

Previously, media reported that Anwar had taken the opportunity during his official visit to Qatar to meet with the head of Hamas’ political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, to gain a better understanding of the Middle East conflict, particularly involving Hamas and Israel in Palestine.

Fahmi said he would also personally send a letter to Meta to seek an explanation, because the US-based information technology company’s move had disrespected media freedom.

He said a review of the removed posts by the three media outlets revealed that they were not harmful as claimed by Meta.

“Previously, if members of the media remember, during an event at Axiata Arena, there were posts related to the Prime Minister’s speech at that time on several social media platforms like Instagram that were taken down.

“However, after we sent a protest, they were reinstated. I regret that such actions are taken by a U.S.-based organisation, which clearly does not respect the media’s right to use their platforms freely,” he said.

Meanwhile, Fahmi said that a meeting with all social media platform operators would be held in June to ensure that news reports on the Prime Minister’s official duties were not removed.

When asked if Anwar’s meeting with Hamas leaders would impact the country, Fahmi stated that the government’s stance was that Malaysia did not have ties with the military wing of Hamas.

“…but political parties within the country do have connections with the political wing (of Hamas) based on the struggle for the establishment of a state known as Palestine.

“Therefore, for me or on behalf of the government, it is clear that we take actions deemed appropriate and not contradictory to legal principles,” he said.


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