MCMC warned not to misuse its powers

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has been warned not to misuse its powers following the recent arrest of a 24-year-old PKR member and social media influencer for anti-government tweets.

According to Muhammad Hafiz Rayyan, 24, around eight to nine policemen and MCMC officers had arrived at his father's house in Klang on April 8 without any prior notification.

"They proceeded to detain me without a warrant and seized my iPhone 5S before taking me to the Sentosa police station in Klang. I was then informed that I am being investigated under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 in relation to two tweets that criticised caretaker Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak and the suggestion that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim should be given the chance to lead the country," he said during a press conference at the Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) office, here, today.

He claimed that the authorities failed to gave him an opportunity to seek a lawyer and proceeded to take his statement without the presence of a lawyer as well.

"The authorities also forced me to give out my Twitter username and password for my Twitter account @HaffizRayyan.

"After being detained for four hours, I was released. But I learnt that they had subsequently changed my password and email for my Twitter account," he said.

Muhammad Hafiz added that he was unable to access his Twitter account until he applied to Twitter to regain access.

Following the incident, his counsel Syahredzan Johan said while MCMC has the authority to get one's access to their social media accounts, they do not have the authority to alter passwords and deny access to such accounts.

"Their action of (changing passwords and email to deny access) goes beyond their jurisdiction. We will now see if MCMC will take further action and respond to it accordingly," he said.

The handle @HaffizRayyan has close to 45,000 followers on Twitter.

MCMC was unavailable for comment when contacted at press time.