Internet Censorship Update: Internet Censorship Monitoring and Testing during 2023 Malaysia State Elections

Sinar Project will be monitoring internet censorship during the upcoming Malaysian State Elections, with particular emphasis on web sites that are potentially at risk of censorship. To date, blocking has been detected and confirmed for three domains:, and

8th August 2023The elections will be held on Saturday, 12 August 2023, involving six (6) states: Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah, Terengganu, Kelantan and Pulau Pinang. In the previous GE15 elections in 2022, no significant blockings were found, whereas in the GE14 elections in 2018, election results website by independent news organization Malaysiakini, was found blocked

As part of our efforts to increase the transparency of Internet censorship, Sinar Project will be monitoring internet censorship during this state elections by collecting evidence of network interference and internet censorship using Open Observervatory for Network Interference (OONI) tools.

We are focusing on collecting evidence of internet censorship on targeted websites that are potentially at risk of censorship, particularly news and media sites, websites of political parties and politicians, official Election Commission websites and election monitoring sites.

As of time of writing, we have collected 45 websites from these categories to be tested constantly throughout the period leading up to election day. The list of websites is as in the election monitoring page and will be updated as needed due to the dynamic election situation.

Initial findings

Following an initial report by Gerakan Media Merdeka (Geramm) on 7 August 2023, it was found that has been blocked. This brings the number of websites blocked to 3. As reported previously and were additional websites found blocked, out of the 45 websites in the state elections test list.


ISPs implementing the blocking

Starting date of blocking

Detailed data from OONI

  1. TIME (AS9930)
  2. TM (AS4788)
  3. U Mobile (AS38466) 
  4. YTL (AS45960)
  5. Maxis (AS9534)
  6. U Mobile (AS38466) 
  7. YTL (AS45960)

7 August 2023

OONI Explorer Link

  1. Maxis (AS9534)
  2. TM (AS4788)
  3. U Mobile (AS38466) 
  4. YTL (AS45960)

25 July 2023

OONI Explorer Link

  1. TIME (AS9930)
  2. U Mobile (AS38466) 
  3. YTL (AS45960)

18 May 2021

OONI Explorer Link

These test measurements from OONI confirmed that a few Malaysian ISPs (internet service providers) were implementing what appears to be a Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) mandated blocking of a website.

The data on OONI was collected through the OONI Probe App by Sinar Project and various volunteers. A confirmed blocking on OONI shows that there has been DNS blocking on the website whereby the DNS had been tampered to redirect to MCMC’s IP address: A block notice stating that ‘this website is not available in Malaysia as it violates national law’ has been detected on this address since 7 August.


Call for testing

Sinar Project is calling for volunteers to help with the monitoring and testing of internet censorship during the state elections period. Join us in ensuring freedom of expression and access to information are protected on the internet. More detailed instructions on how you can help can be found here.