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Violations Against Media Freedom and FOE 2007

Violations Against Media Freedom and FOE 2007



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Published by Peter Chen
Report: Media monitoring during period before and during Malaysia's 12th General Election 2008 by Center of Independent Journalism, Aliran and one more.
Report: Media monitoring during period before and during Malaysia's 12th General Election 2008 by Center of Independent Journalism, Aliran and one more.

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Published by: Peter Chen on Apr 09, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Editorial Interference andLegal threat against mediaBloggers Intimidation Clampdown on Assemblies Others
1Editors told in a meetingwith Ministry of InternalSecurity not to give prominence to Hindraf andto the images of policeviolence during the rally.(4 December)Police interrogated blogger Jeff Ooi for statement he madeas a guest commentator at Al-Jazeera for the BERSIH rallyon Nov 10. Police reports weremade against him by threegroups affiliated with thegovernment.(10 December)Five leaders of the Hindu RightsAction Force (Hindraf), P.Uthayakumar, M Manoharan, R Kenghadharan, V Ganabatirau,and T Vasanthakumar werearrested under the ISA.Uthayakumar had earlier beenarrested thrice under theSedition Act and charged for two counts of offences under thelaw, since organizing theHindraf rally where 30, 000 people were estimated to haveturned up.(13 December)A photographer was assaulted by an UMNO member whileon duty covering anopposition’s charge of misuseof public funds by UMNO.(16 November)2Information MinisteZainuddin Maidin criticizedEnglish daily theSun for giving coverage to the marchorganized by Bar Council,accusing it as disregardingthe spirit of national unity ata time when the country hada few massive public rallies.(Reported on 2 December)Deputy Internal SecurityMinister, Fu Ah Kiow revealedin Parliament that 5 personsare investigated by under theSedition Act for their postingsonline, including NathanielTan and Wee Meng Chee.(5 December)Police arrested 26representatives and supportersof BERSIH within and outsideParliament grounds for submitting a memorandum toMembers of Parliamentopposing an amendment to theConstitution. The amendmentallows for the extension of thetenure of the ElectionCommission’s chairman.(11 December)A journalist from Tamil dailyMalaysian Nanban lodged a police report after receivingthreats for his coverage onthe state of Tamil schools.(13 October)
Violations against media freedom and freedom of expression in Malaysia, 2007
Editorial Interference &Legal threat against media
Bloggers Intimidation
Clampdown on AssembliesOthers
 3Media instructed not toreport on the BERSIH rallyon Nov 10 and its aftermath.(Unspecified date)Following a video onYouTube of the nationalanthem with rap lyricscriticizing the government, its producer, student Wee MengChee was threatened withaction under Sedition Act andrevocation of his citizenship.He subsequently apologized.(7-22 August)Police arrested and charged fivelawyers and three others for leading the Bar Council marchdespite not getting a permit. Thechairperson of the Bar Council’sHuman Rights Committee,Edmond Bon was arrested andcharged for refusing to takedown a banner of the Bar Council’s Human RightsFestival. Police also arrestedopposition leaders Tian Chua(Keadilan) and MohammadSabu (PAS) and 12 others inconnection with the BERSIHrally. (9 December)A journalist from the sameTamil paper (Malaysian Nanban), covering the sameissue was beaten to coma byunknown assailants. (2 November)4Information MinisteZainuddin Maidin gave“advice” to news editors tonot publish news that wasunfavorable to thegovernment image, sayingthe PM’s pledge to hear thetruth doesn’t apply to themedia.(Reported on 12 October)Vice-President of UMNO,Muhyiddin Yassin called for laws to be amended to enableaction against bloggers, whoare hitherto partially protected by the Multimedia Bill of Guarantees. (Reported on 13August)31 people who assembled at theBatu Caves in order to take partin the Hindraf rally on November 25, were re-arrested,charged and denied bail for attempted murder of a policeofficer. 12 among them are alsocharged for participating in anillegal assembly.(6 December)The Anti-Corruption Agency(ACA) threatened to prosecute opposition politician Sivarsasa Rasiahand the party’s staff Sim if they did not reveal withinseven days the identity of thesource of a video implicatinga senior lawyer in the fixingof senior judiciaryappointments.(Reported 5 October)
Editorial Interference &Legal threat against media
Bloggers IntimidationClampdown on Assemblies
 5Information MinisteZainuddin Maidin twiceaccused English daily theSunas a pro Opposition paper.(First accusation reported on29 August, second on 4September)Ruhanie Ahmad, blogger andmember of the Backbenchers’Club, lodged a police reportover a threat he received viasms, which said that “bloggerswill be eliminated”.(13 August)Due to police’s reluctance toissue a permit, the Bar Councilcalled off its planned marcharound the city to commemorateInternational Human RightsDay.(4 December)Makkal Osai was suspendedfor 30 days following the publication of a picture of Jesus holding a cigarette anda canned drink. A complaintwas lodged by a youth wingof controlling partyMalaysian Indian Congress(MIC). Makkal Osai published a public apologyfor two days. (24 August)6Ministry of Internal Securitydirected media to stopreporting responses to theDeputy Prime Minister’sassertion that the country isan Islamic state. The mediawere only allowed to reportthe Prime Minister or theDeputy PM’s view on theissue.(19 July)Police questioned Marina Lee,wife of blogger Raja PetraKamaruddin about content onher husband's blog, MalaysiaToday, which UMNO allegedhas insulted the SupremeRuler, or Agong.(7 August)Six more were charged for  parcipating in the “illegal”Hindraf rally. One of theorganizers, Ganapathi Rao wasre-arrested for offence under theSedition Act.(29 Nov) New Straits Times terminatedthe columns of activistZainah Anwar andcontroversial filmmaker Amir Muhammad. Last columnsappeared 2 August, and 27July respectively. ZainahAnwar is the director of NGOSisters in Islam, a group thathas been criticized byUMNO, while Amir’s filmswere twice banned by thegovernment.

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