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Political TikToker takes government to court for blocking accounts

Political commentator Na'im Brundage has had his accounts blocked several times.

2 minute read
Na'im Brundage is undeterred by the constant removal of his TikTok accounts.
Na'im Brundage is undeterred by the constant removal of his TikTok accounts.

A popular social media commentator has filed a judicial review against the government over a series of blockage of his TikTok accounts, in the latest action against Putrajaya's censorship of online content criticising Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim's administration.

Na'im Brundage, who uploads short videos criticising government's policies on various platforms, named the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and the Malaysian government as defendants.

"The application for judicial review seeks not only to lift the ban on my TikTok accounts, but also to ensure that MCMC desists from acts that violate the right to freedom of speech provided for in the Federal Constitution.

"Freedom of speech is a fundamental right that should be respected and protected, and it is unacceptable for authorities to suppress voices on social media," he said in a statement.

A recent report shows that Malaysia is at the top of a list of governments asking TikTok to remove content, in what is a further indictment of Anwar's commitment to tolerating critics.

Na'im has already been forced to create new TikTok accounts several times after his accounts were deleted for content critical of the government.

Putrajaya has admitted that MCMC has requested platform providers such as TikTok to delete videos.

Shortly after coming to power in November 2022, the government threatened TikTok as it was unhappy over its wide use by opposition supporters.

MalaysiaNow previously reported that many influencers critical of the government such as Ratu Naga and YB Viral have also had their TikTok accounts deleted.

The widespread blocking of anti-government content and news portals by the Anwar government, caused Malaysia to drop 34 places from 73rd to 107th in this year's World Press Freedom Index.