Malaysiakini News

Journalists' groups slam raid on Malaysiakini

Published:  |  Modified:

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate, the National Union of Journalists Peninsular Malaysia (NUJM), strongly criticised the raid on Malaysiakini by the authorities.

The IFJ in a statement today urged the Malaysian government to end its continued attack on the country's media which is stifling press freedom and freedom of expression.

On Nov 6 at 5pm, Malaysiakini office in Petaling Jaya was raided by 10 officers from the police and Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

The officers left around 8pm, after they recorded a statement from Malaysiakini editor-in-chief Steven Gan and seized a computer.

The raid came after publication of a report that deputy public prosecutor, Ahmad Shazalee Abdul Khairi, was transferred out of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) special operations division.

Initially Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali ( photo ) denied the report. However, the following day, de facto Law Minister Nancy Shukri confirmed that the DPP was given an internal transfer.

The report, which is now being investigated under Section 500 of the Penal Code for criminal defamation, made no mention of the officer being transferred out of the commission.

Other than Malaysiakini , the police and MCMC also visited English daily The Star 's headquarters last week.

The two articles in question are Malaysiakini 's 'Sudden transfer for MACC prosecutor' and The Star 's 'MACC prosecutor 'shocked' over sudden transfer'.

Guarantee press freedom

The investigations against Malaysiakini and The Star are based on a complaint lodged by the Attorney-General's Chambers on Nov 3.

The IFJ said: “The Malaysian government continues to use the law to stifle press freedom and create a culture of fear for the country's media.

"Media outlets and journalists should never be forced to reveal their sources. The Malaysian government must respect the rights, responsibilities, and role of the media in Malaysia and guarantee press freedom."

NUJM general secretary Schave de Rozario described it as a continuous effort by the government to curb press freedom.

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