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Rights Group Challenges Govt’s Authority to Remove ‘Man On The Run’ Documentary from Netflix

In a significant turn of events, Lawyers for Liberty (LFL), a human rights group, are challenging the Malaysian government’s jurisdiction to instruct the removal of Netflix’s 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) documentary, “Man on The Run.” Criticizing former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s plea for the documentary’s removal, LFL contends that the government’s consideration of such a request would be an illegal exercise of power. Expressing surprise at the government’s stance, LFL emphasizes that Netflix, as an over-the-top (OTT) platform, operates beyond the regulatory reach of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA).

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Challenging Government Authority:

LFL issues a robust statement, challenging the government’s authority to entertain Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s request for the removal of the 1MDB documentary, “Man on The Run,” from Netflix. LFL argues that such government action would be an overreach and an unlawful exercise of power.

Netflix as an Over-the-Top (OTT) Platform:

LFL strongly asserts that Netflix, operating as an over-the-top (OTT) platform, falls beyond the regulatory purview of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA). The group contends that the regulations outlined in the CMA do not extend to OTT services like Netflix.

Censorship Concerns and Contradictions in CMA:

Emphasizing Section 3(3) of the CMA, LFL points out that any attempt to remove the 1MDB documentary from Netflix would amount to censorship. Section 3(3) explicitly states that the CMA does not permit internet censorship, making such an act contradictory to the foundational principles embedded in the legislation.

Potential Violation of Freedom of Expression:

Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) raise concerns about the potential violation of freedom of expression if the government proceeds with the removal of the 1MDB documentary from Netflix. Citing the Federal Constitution’s Article 10(1)(a), LFL urges the government to respect constitutional rights and refrain from an unlawful exercise of power.