Media statements issued never do get media coverage, and if it does it often does not report all that is stated. Given the fact, there seem to be no real documentation of all these civil society voices, this Blog has been started hoping to capture and preserve the voices of civil society for all. Appreciate it if you could forward me ( statements that have not been picked up by this Blog.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

CIJ condemns intimidation of lawyer, blogger, news site

Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) Malaysia
27C Jalan Sarikei, off Jalan Pahang
53000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 4023 0772
Fax: 03 4023 0769
27 October 2010

Media Release: CIJ condemns intimidation of lawyer, blogger, news site

The Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) Malaysia views with concern the investigations being conducted by the Malaysian communications regulator, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) into online reports of a speech by the Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

The harassment began on 22 October, when officers from the commission visited the offices of online news site, recording a statement from the editor-in-chief, Steven Gan. According to the news site, the officers were investigating Malaysiakini's reporting of the annual general meeting of the UMNO, one of the parties that make up the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition.

This was followed up by interrogation of blogger Wong Choon Mei, who writes the blog Malaysia Chronicle. The interrogation took place on Monday 25 October, and centred around a post where she reproduces some quotes from the Malaysiakini articles.

While Wong was told that she was being investigated for possible breach of Section 211 and 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, she was denied access to legal counsel during the course of the questioning. Her lawyer, Latheefa Koya, was told that she would only be allowed to remain present if she also gave a witness statement. This is a clear breach of Article 5 of Malaysia's Constitution.

According to one report by a Malay-language daily, political party and BN member the Malaysian Chinese Association lodged a police report against Malaysia Chronicle, but it is unclear whether the MCMC investigation is a result of this report. There are no reports that the Prime Minister's Office has issued any clarification or rebuttal of the reports.

These investigations are a violation of the consitutional guarantee of freedom of expression and are clearly designed to intimidate the Malaysian online community, targeting certain news and information sites, given that similar articles and headlines have appeared in other publications with no problems from the authorities. In a country where print and broadcast media are tightly controlled by both ownership and legislation, the Internet provides an important space for political discussion and expression, a space guaranteed under Article 3 of the Communications and Multimedia Act.

CIJ recommends that the MCMC drop all investigations into both Malaysiakini and Malaysia Chronicle. We also remind the commission of the constitutional guarantees of both legal representation and freedom of expression, and hope that in future it will work to uphold these important legal principles. To ensure that it does not engage in future violations of the right to legal representation, we recommend it conduct an investigation into the conduct of the officers who denied this right to Wong.

For further information:
CIJ Executive Officer Masjaliza Hamzah


The Centre for Independent Journalism, Malaysia (CIJ) is a non-profit organisation that aspires for a society that is democratic, just and free, where all peoples will enjoy free media and the freedom to express, seek and impart information.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing it.
    Pre nuptial agreements lawyer Manly is renowned for serving people who are facing troubles in their property division, divorce cases and spousal support, etc. Pre nuptial agreement lawyer Manly follows the legal term & rules to bring the best solution to settle down the legal matters

    Pre Nuptial Agreements lawyer Manly