Apologise to Susan, says NUJ
Statement by National Union of Journalists Malaysia
The National Union of Journalists Peninsular Malaysia (NUJ) strongly condemns the inquiry by the police to investigate Malaysiakini reporter Susan Loone under Section 4 (1)(C) of the Sedition Act 1948.
Susan was merely doing her job as a reporter when she was arrested after being questioned over her phone interview with an exco of the Penang State Government, in which he was quoted as saying that he had been “treated like a criminal” while in detention. Her article was published on the news portal on September 1, allegedly defaming the police.
This action does not augur well for the Government’s promise to allow the Malaysian media to operate freely and without fear of their reporters being detained under questionable reasoning.
Even though the Police has the right to question anyone through complaints made by certain NGOs, we however strongly feel that the Sedition Act had been wrongly applied on Susan’s case and that the Police should issue an apology to her for the trauma and inconveniences caused on her and her family.
To abuse relevant Act by intimidating the media had never been accepted by the local media nor been supported by the general public.
The union believes the police, by invoking the Sedition Act to investigate a journalist is regarded as a means to intimidate and interfere with press freedom.
NUJ believes all journalists have the right to interview any person to share insights into cases with the public’s interest at hand, to convey public opinion and that the reporter reports what is given by the interviewees and not of their own comments.
It is our hope that Government or any law enforcement authorities act convincingly in this matter and restore its credibility in the eyes of the public and media fraternity and not act in a high-handed manner.
We also request representative of the Penang state to work with the union by informing us on events related to journalists instead of attacking the union on social media.
NUJ will also issue a letter to the Home Minister concerning this matter.
September 5, 2014