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NUJ rejects ex-cop to head cop brutality inquiry

Fri 2012-May-11 @ +08 14:39:42 pm

The NUJ, representing newspaper journalists, has rejected the choice of a former Inspector-General of Police to lead an inquiry into the many reports of targeted police assaults, use of violence and acts of intimidation against reporters and photographers on April 28.

Guang Ming reporter Wong Kin Onn on duty at the Bersih rally on April 28

Instead, the NUJ said former chief judge Steven Shim should be appointed as chairman of the inquiry.

In a statement on Thursday, the NUJ pointed out that “this is the first time in our history that a retired senior judge was reduced to being an ordinary member of a panel”.

The union pointed out that it was unseemly for Hanif Omar to lead an inquiry into the conduct of the force that he once led as national police chief from 1974 to 1994.

The NUJ also questioned Hanif’s impartiality, pointing to a remark he had made about the Bersih rally. He was reported to have supported claims that the gathering, to demand clean and fair elections, was an attempt to topple the Government.

The union said: “…the public would not be convinced of the panel’s finding as he himself was a former police chief and this would also discourage eye witnesses and victims from coming forward to give evidence.”

Journos beaten up, journos protest

More than a dozen journalists, mostly photographers, but also including reporters and an editor, have either filed police reports or have gone on record to say that they were assaulted, manhandled, harassed or intimidated while covering the mass public rally on April 28.

Photographic equipment was also damaged or confiscated, and data storage cards removed or erased under threat.

Almost all reports said the assaults were conducted by police and appeared to be targeted at journalists to stop coverage of police against against protestors at the rally.

Online petition – Don’t Beat Up Journalists

Malaysian journalists have rallied to sign an online petition against the police violence on April 28, which has been signed by more than 300 members of the journalistic fraternity, as well as 2,400 other members of the public.

Journalists are preparing to submit the petition to the government next week.

The petition calls for the government to make a full public apology to all journalists for the violence reported on April 28; restitution of equipment; an independent public inquiry; and other measures to ensure safety of journalists and protection of their right to practise free, fair, impartial and accurate journalism.

Immediately after the events of April 28, several Malaysian editors and journalists issued a joint statement condemning the use of violence and intimidation against journalists.

Last week, on World Press Freedom Day, more than 80 journalists gathered at the National Press Club in Kuala Lumpur to discuss and endorse a proposal to form a professional association of journalists, to enhance professionalism, safeguard journalists’ professional interests and enhance press freedom.

Chinese-language newspapers went black & white on World Press Freedom Day


  1. Sam01 permalink
    Fri 2012-May-11 @ +08 15:35:40 pm 15:35

    BN will never give away that stranglehold on the media. Forget about the media council or new press laws. This government will tighten the noose on journalists.
    The weaker the government, the more corrupted the government, the more inhuman the government the more it will shackle the media.
    The only hope for the nation: Kick out BN and give Pakatan a chance.

  2. Prem Das permalink
    Fri 2012-May-11 @ +08 17:23:08 pm 17:23

    Why shouldn’t there be violence against journalists ?

    I have to tell you guys, the perceptions of Joe Public of journalists, especially the main stream ones, are NOT flattering at all. All those years of actively colluding with perpetrators of injudicious violence by demonising the victims to deflect blame from the guilty parties, is the basis of the abject dislike of you and your kind. Now you are trying to generate sympathy from the same people you have treated with contempt all these years ? Are you all retards ?

    I will leave you with this quotation from Pastor Niemoller ;

    First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.

    Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.

    • uppercaise permalink*
      Fri 2012-May-11 @ +08 20:57:32 pm 20:57

      What a load of bollocks. You are talking through your arse. The police beat up journalists and you condone it?

    • Prem Das permalink
      Fri 2012-May-11 @ +08 21:39:31 pm 21:39

      Simply put, if a newspaperman does his job, a policeman’s recourse to violence is seriously sanctioned.

  3. Chin P.S. permalink
    Fri 2012-May-11 @ +08 20:24:10 pm 20:24

    In 1987, when The Star and some other papers were suspended for some months under Operasi Lallang, who spoke out for the journalists when they could not speak out for themselves?

    • uppercaise permalink*
      Fri 2012-May-11 @ +08 21:01:42 pm 21:01

      And with Sin Chew and Watan also shut, with only Utusan, NST, BH and Nanyang around, and 100+ people already under the ISA, and police permits needed for all indoor and outdoor gatherings including association dinners, and police, military and Umno-BN spies everywhere, and no Internet and no web sites, no Facebook, no Twitter, no mobile phones, where could anyone say anything?

    • uppercaise permalink*
      Fri 2012-May-11 @ +08 21:02:47 pm 21:02

      Did you?

  4. Prem Das permalink
    Fri 2012-May-11 @ +08 21:31:00 pm 21:31

    A policeman’s duty is law and order. A newspaper man’s duty is to prevent the excesses that we see olmost daily.

    Where were you when detainees were dying in police lockups in droves ? This is the turf that you are commissioned to protect on behalf of society at large.

    Leave off the excuses man. Your position is indefensible.

  5. Chin P.S. permalink
    Fri 2012-May-11 @ +08 21:51:34 pm 21:51

    Could not, uppercaise. There was nowhere to be heard.

    • Chin P.S. permalink
      Fri 2012-May-11 @ +08 22:01:25 pm 22:01

      Condoning violence for whatever the reason is indefensible.

    • uppercaise permalink*
      Sat 2012-May-12 @ +08 19:41:02 pm 19:41

      You should tell Prem Das that, she appears to be a Singaporean who thinks journalists must take the rap for all of society’s evils.

    • uppercaise permalink*
      Sat 2012-May-12 @ +08 19:42:20 pm 19:42

      And police and political rogues apparently blameless, in her view.

    • Prem Das permalink
      Sat 2012-May-12 @ +08 20:56:26 pm 20:56

      I am Malaysian and I am male.

      I am not saying the police and political rogues are blameless. My contention is that without the requisite input from the “Fourth Estate” things have deteriorated to this critical stage.

      It is as if a teacher leaves a class untended and the class has rioted. The teacher has to assume full responsibility.

      Sorry guys, there is no way to abnegate your role in the general scheme of things. Your duty as the press is to take up the cudgels on behalf of us ‘Joe Public’ against the likes of those who would abuse the laws for their own ends.

  6. illuminati permalink
    Thu 2012-May-17 @ +08 12:59:52 pm 12:59

    Hello, what have we here? A guy who has his perspective all twisted out of shape? Simply put, I think he’s mad at journalists because papers like NST, Star, BH, UM and the rest are licking the a… of the ruling authorities. Therefore, he thinks these journalists should be kicked in the a…. by the cops. He should be suggesting that the top editors should be kicked in the a…. because they are the real ones licking the a…. of the BN.

    Most of the journalists are just earning a living and they don’t make the call on policies in the newsroom. He should know that. The cops are on the dark side and guilty of brutality and such. Why attack journalists covering the event – they are not doing the protest.

    In fact, as we all should know by now, the press is under the thumb of the ruling BN warlords. If journalist, especially the top editors, don’t say ‘yes’ to govt directives, they will be heading to the boondocks.


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