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Press for freedom

Wed 2015-Apr-1 @ MYT 09:52:46 am

Journos stand united against oppression

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Jahabar freed: Don’t know why they arrested us

Wed 2015-Apr-1 @ MYT 15:33:42 pm

First things first: A shower, lunch and back to work

Jahabar Sadiq, freed on police bail after being kept overnight in the lock-up, left Dang Wangi police station at half past 12 today, and was all smiles upon spotting journalists camped outside, asking who would join him for lunch, the Star reported.

“I need a shower. I need lunch. I’m on the wrong side of the camera and microphone. I’d like to go back to being a journalist. Thank you,” he said before leaving. He said the police for kind to him and publisher Ho Kay Tat. “They took all our statements very professionally. I still don’t know why they arrested us under the Sedition Act.” No bail money was requested, he said, quipping he could now use the money to buy lunch.

Ho Kay Tat, chief executive and publisher of the Edge and Malaysian Insider, also said the police and MCMC officers had been “very good to us”.

“They just took our statement,” Ho told journalists from the window of his car, while police officers nearby shouted “jalan, jalan”.

Jahabar and Kay Tat were detained on Tuesday, a day after Insider editors Lionel Morais, Zulkifli Sulong and Amin Iskandar were arrested and detained overnight. Two subeditors and a reporter and two company executives were also questioned and their statements taken by police.

Last week the Insider reported that the Rulers’ Conference had rejected a proposed law to allow hudud crimina penalties to be imposed in Kelantan. The palace filed a police report, saying that the report was wrong, and Umno Youth filed a report with the internet regulator, the communications commission.

The Edge and the Insider have also run a series of investigative reports about the government-owned 1Malaysia Development Bhd, which has run up RM42bn in debts, the company’s questionable finances and investments, and its links to Penang wheeler-dealer Jho Low.

» April’s Fool joke: No misuse of power, says govt

» Back to work, says Jahabar

» Edge and Insider bosses freed

April’s Fool joke: No misuse of power, says govt

Wed 2015-Apr-1 @ MYT 15:08:25 pm

Shahidan makes empty promise. Good joke, Umno. Ptuii!

After decades of seeing Umno ministers blatantly use the law to keep themselves in power (and profit), and after weeks of arrests by policemen blatantly acting as Umno agents by beating up journalists and arresting them for doing their jobs, the government brazenly tried to pull off an April’s Fool joke today.

Shahidan Kassim, minister in the Prime Minister’s department, said the federal government will take necessary actions against any individual who are violating the country’s laws but will not misuse its powers to do so, Malay Mail Online reported in deadpan fashion. The government only intended to wield its powers to uphold law and order in the country and would not tolerate power abuse, he said. “But if there’s any misuse, we won’t allow any misuse. You don’t have to worry about that, no need to worry because we won’t misuse the existing powers, because we use these powers for the country’s law and order and prosperity.”

Hahahahahahah! He means Umno’s peace and prosperity of course. April’s Fool!

Typical Umno talk. Utter bollocks.

Here’s what Amnest International said today, after listing the 29 blatantly political arrests in three months: a common thread was the use of “vaguely worded laws to fit a particular – often politically motivated — purpose”. Amnesty International said it had “long expressed concerns about Malaysia’s oppressive laws and increasing concern over the use of existing laws to repress peaceful dissent. Such laws do not comply with international human rights law and contradict commitments made by the Malaysian authorities to the international community.”

» Vague laws used for political purposes

» What the minister said. (May make you throw up.)

The value of an Umno man’s promise? Zero. Zilch. Kosong.

Falling into a human rights black hole

Wed 2015-Apr-1 @ MYT 13:59:06 pm

Amnesty: laws used for political purposes

Amnesty International says the arrests of the Malaysian Insider publisher and four journalists “is just the latest example of the outdated Sedition Act being used as a politically motivated tool to muzzle critics and to silence public debate”.

The human rights group said the escalating “sedition” clampdown on the political opposition and activists in Malaysia — at least 29 people so far — points to an expanding human rights black hole, where freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are severely restricted, even precluded: space for dissent and debate in the country is rapidly shrinking under the guise of maintaining public order, punishing “sedition” and preventing “terrorism”.

Reviewing the frequent arrests in the past few months, Amnesty said a common thread was the use of “vaguely worded laws to fit a particular – often politically motivated — purpose”.
The proposed Prevention of Terrorism Act, reportedly for the control of persons engaged in acts of terrorism and related matters, was problematic as it allows for the detention of suspected terrorists without trial and without judicial review.

Amnesty International said it had “long expressed concerns about Malaysia’s oppressive laws which allow for arbitrary and/or preventive detention, in the same way that it has expressed its increasing concern over the use of existing laws to repress peaceful dissent. Such laws do not comply with international human rights law and contradict commitments made by the Malaysian authorities to the international community.”

Treating journalists like terrorists

Wed 2015-Apr-1 @ MYT 12:48:12 pm

Behave like civilised people, say foreign correspondents

Foreign correspondents in Malaysia have condemned police action against the Malaysian Insider and said there was no justification for the arrests of three Malaysian Insider editors, their chief, and their publisher.

“It is of great concern that the police are applying ‘preventive measures’ to reporters, as if they were terrorists,” the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Malaysia said in a statement.

The FCC urged the government and the police to behave like civilised people instead of using brute force. The authorities should replace “misplaced brute force” with “proactive civil methods”.

The FCC said the use of the Sedition Act and the Communications Act was a form of intimidation to curb freedom of expression, it said. “Authorities must ask if they are cracking down on alleged sedition or merely “bad” reporting?” adding that the journalists need not be detained because they were not flight risks.

» No reason for arrest, says FCCM

Police back down, won’t ask for remand

Wed 2015-Apr-1 @ MYT 11:27:43 am

Jahabar and Kay Tat to be freed

Jahabar (in T-shirt) at Dang Wangi station this morning

Publisher Ho Kay Tat and Malaysian Insider chief Jahabar Sadiq will be released on police bail today. The police will not apply to remand them, said their lawyer. On Monday, a magistrate threw out a remand application to detain three other Insider editors.

Their statements are being taken after which they would be released on police bail, Syahredza Johan said on Twitter from Dang Wangi station.

Jahabar and Kat Tat were held overnight in the lockup after being arrested yesterday when they had came to the police station to see to the three editors arrested on Sunday and to give their statements. Lionel Morais, Amin Iskandar and Zulkifli Sulong were freed on police bail yesterday after police remand applications failed.

Two sub-editors, a reporter, the human resources manager and the IT administrator were also questioned by police yesterday.

Journos go black in protest

Journos stand united for freedom

Edge media group vows to stand firm

A mistake to arrest editors

Saifuddin to media: Report without fear or favour

Be fair says the Edge, vowing to stand firm

Wed 2015-Apr-1 @ MYT 11:08:45 am

Arrests excessive and unnecessary

Edge Media Group has demanded the immediate release of Jahabar Sadiq and Ho Kay Tat and vowed to continue reporting without fear or favour, even as Malaysian Insider editor-in-chief and the publisher were being held by police.

In a statement yesterday, the group said the law should be enforced judiciously and reasonably.

“We have been fully cooperating with the police on this matter as well as on previous issues. The management has not obstructed the police or MCMC from doing their work although their visit at 5.30pm was at a crucial time for newsroom operations.

[Group CEO Ho Kay Tat and editor-in-chief Jahabar Sadiq] had presented themselves to the police voluntarily, believing that they were there for their statements to be recorded. All five executives [the other three were Lionel Morais, Amin Iskandar and Zulkifli Sulong] had been cooperating fully with the authorities and were prepared to make themselves available at all times, hence we view their arrests as excessive, unnecessary and inconsistent with the moderate policies promised by the present administration.

We believe there are many other avenues to address disputes, conflicts or inaccuracies in news reports without having to resort to criminal prosecution.”

» Today’s editorial by the Insider

Journos go black in protest

Wed 2015-Apr-1 @ MYT 10:51:59 am

In solidarity with arrested editors and publisher

Malaysia journalists wore black today, changed their Facebook profiles photos to black with press freedom slogans, and Malaysiakini used a black-and-white scheme on the front page of their web site as the press continued to show support for Malaysian Insider’s editors and publisher. Five of them were arrested by police on a complaint by Istana Negara, backed by Umno politicians, over a report which they said was false.

Three editors were released on bail yesterday after spending a night in the lockup. A magistrate refused a police application to remand them. Lionel Morais, Amin Iskandar, Zulkifli Sulong joined about 50 other media people and friends at a candle-light vigil outside Dang Wangi police station.

Malaysian Insider editor-in-chief Jahabar Sadiq and publisher Ho Kay Tat were held overnight and are expected to be brought to court for a remand hearing today were expected to be released on police bail today after the police decided not to apply for a remand order. Yesterday a magistrate rejected an application to detain Lionel, Amin and Zulkifi in the lockup.

Malaysian media activist groups have condemned the police and government for the arrests.

Arrests were a mistake says Umno MP

Saifuddin: Report without fear or favour

Journalists united for freedom


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