View Full Version : Police questions Malaysiakini...
20-01-2003, 03:48 PM
<font size="+2">BREAKING NEWS</font>
A team of police officers visited the office of Malaysiakini.com around noon today.
The police was still taking statements from the Malaysiakini management as at 3.50pm.
The police's visit is believed to be related to a report lodged by Umno Youth against the online newspaper.
Saturday, Federal Police chief Norian Mai had said all reports of a seditious nature would be thoroughly investigated.
20-01-2003, 05:35 PM
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2003 07:35:40 +0000 (GMT)
From: Sonia Randhawa firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Malaysiakini's office raided
Award-winning Internet daily Malaysiakini's office is
currently being raided by the police, we believe in
connection with a report lodged against them by the
youth section of one of the political parties in the
ruling coalition, Pemuda UMNO, claiming sedition.
There are more than ten police officers, two
uniformed, and it seems likely that they will take
away more than 15 computers, all from the editorial
department. This will not only mean that Mkini can no
longer operate, but it also means they have access to
a lot of confidential information, including the
addresses of letter writers who have requested
The police officers are from Dang Wangi ++603 2691
2222, and the Mkini line is ++603 2284 5567.
Malaysiakini is an online news daily, which champions
freedom of the media in a country where legislation
strangles freedom of expression. It's editor [b]Steven
Gan has been recognised by CPJ, and the daily won and
International Press Freedom award from Reporters Sans
Frontieres in Jan 2000.
The site can be viewed at www.malaysiakini.com
20-01-2003, 06:01 PM
<font size="+2">BREAKING NEWS</font>
The police team this evening went away with 19 computers belonging to the editorial department of Malaysiakini, effectively crippling the online portal's operations.
Sources told the usjXpress Team that the police asked for the indentity of the author who wrote the <a href="http://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/200301090033726.php"target="new">letter to Editor</a> which Umno Youth claimed to be offensive.
However, Malaysiakini management were steadfast in their commitment to protecting the confidentiality of its contributors, and paid the price for freedom of speech.
They lost their tools to write.
Malaysiakini CEO Premesh Chandran, a USJ resident, appealed to friends to loan the central processing unit (CPU) of their PCs to assist the online portal get back on track as soon as possible. The PCs are for wordprocessing only.
If you have extra PCs available for loan, please contact Premesh at the office or phone number stated below:
<blockquote>2-4 Jalan Bangsar Utama 9
59000 Kuala Lumpur,
Phone: (603) 2283-5567
Fax: (603) 2289-2579</blockquote>
International wires have recorded the police raid and efforts are being made to broadcast the news over CNN and BBC as soon as airtime is available.
Malaysiakini is keeping vigil tonight at 8.30pm at its office. All are welcome.
20-01-2003, 07:33 PM
CHANNEL NEWS ASIA
First created :
20 January 2003 1653 hrs (SST) 0853 hrs (GMT)
Last modified :
20 January 2003 1653 hrs (SST) 0853 hrs (GMT)
<FONT SIZE="+1">Malaysian police raid office of Internet newspaper</FONT>
Malaysian police on Monday raided the office of an Internet newspaper after alleged complaints that it had published a seditious letter.
Editor Steven Gan denounced the police raid and said it appeared to be an attempt to shut down the operations of Malaysiakini, which claims a daily readership of about 100,000.
He said police took away all 19 computers used by the journalists and staff.
The raid came five days after the youth wing of the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) complained to police that Malaysiakini had published a "seditious" letter on January 9.
The group alleged that the letter, entitled "Similarities between 'new Americans' and bumiputera (indigenous people)", contained false accusations and questioned special rights for Malays, thus possibly instilling hatred for the government.
The letter was also malicious for likening UMNO Youth to the white-supremacist Ku Klux Klan in America "which was ready to kill other races," it added.
Mr Gan said the online daily's policy was to encourage free and open discussion on controversial issues.
He said police had asked him to reveal the name of the letter writer but he refused and they then took away all the computers.
Mr Gan said Malaysiakini would have to post a notice to inform its readers of the interruption to its operations.
20-01-2003, 07:36 PM
Asia Pacific Management Forum.
January 20, 2003
<FONT SIZE="+1">Malaysiakini - Malaysia's independent internet newspaper apparantly raided</FONT>
[Update 4:50pm: The reader's letter which seems to be the subject of the UMNO Youth police report which may have initiated the raid is entitled Similarities between 'new Americans' and bumiputera. The anonymous letter is critical of Malays in general as well as the Malaysian government and seems, to at least to this untrained eye, that it is in contravention of Malaysian laws against publishing material that could endanger Malaysia's tolerant multi-racial society that is characterised variously as either unique and powerful or sensitive and fragile by government officials depending on the situation.]
The Malaysian independent internet newspaper - MalaysiaKini is apparantly being raided by police at this time, according to one source.
An independent and rare non-government or political-party-owned news source reporting on Malaysian politics, society, culture and more so these days - economics and business - MalaysiaKini has come to be respected for it's independent reports as well as the divergent views published in it's letters section, resulting in it becoming one of Malaysia's most-read websites. Malaysiakini was set up just prior to the first national elections following the Anwar sacking and jailing.
A first person account just received reads -
"... Award-winning Internet daily Malaysiakini's office is currently being raided by the police, we believe in connection with a report lodged against them by the youth section of one of the political parties in the ruling coalition, Pemuda UMNO, claiming sedition. There are more than ten police officers, two uniformed, and it seems likely that they will take away all the computers. This will not only mean that MalaysiaKini can no longer operate, but it also means they have access to a lot of confidential information, including the addresses of letter writers who have requested confidentiality..."
MalaysiaKini can still be accessed at the time of writing from their URL of http://www.malaysiakini.com/. The site appears to be hosted on a North American server.
Caution should be exercised in drawing conclusions from just one source at this time.
The Malaysian popular electronic and print media in Bahasa Melayu, Chinese, Tamil, and Arabic is dominated by government ownership, providing the ruling administration a powerful means to deliver public relations messages and reinforce government policy. However, at times, the coverage can become highly political, especially around election time.
The same has not been true of dedicated internet media however, where government sites have usually failed to exploit the unique advantages of the new medium, being slow to develop internet-based communication channels. While major government-owned print newspapers do provide quality "internet editions", many government sites are plagued by out of date content, non-interactivity, and poor quality control. This has left "MalaysiaKini" to almost dominate the dedicated internet media for Malaysian political news, even though funding remains an ongoing problem, as Malaysian advertisers are wary of being associated with the publication.
International media have increasingly been drawn to Malaysiakini reports where the mainstream media have been hamstrung in their options. Up to now, at least, the Malaysian government has played a generally low-profile line in regards to MalaysiaKini, although it's reporting style has been to allow a far broader divergence of opinion than in print and broadcast media in Malaysia.
Chao Phraya River Rat in Asian Internet on January 20, 2003 03:13 PM
20-01-2003, 11:59 PM
<font size="+1">Press Statement issued by :
POLICE RAID ON MALAYSIAKINI OFFICE
YET ANOTHER BLOW TO PRESS FREEDOM</font>
Dang Wangi district police, reacting to a report lodged by Umno Youth
last Friday, seized 15 CPUs (central processing units) and four
servers worth RM150,000 for "forensic examination" from the
Malaysiakini office in Bangsar Utama this afternoon.
The move has effectively shut down Malaysiakini editorial operations
pending the return of the equipment. However, emergency measures are
being taken to continue publication online within 24 hours.
The 10-member team led by Supt SAC Mohd Kamaruddin Md Din, head of
Bukit Aman's computer crime unit, arrived unannounced at about
12.30pm. Several senior officers held a 90-minute discussion with
Malaysiakini editor-in-chief Steven Gan and chief executive officer
Pramesh Chandran before moving into action.
The team took four hours to record details of the staff and the
computers at the work stations, and to compile a list of items that
were to be taken away.
They said they were investigating the Umno Youth report which alleged
that a letter written by a Malaysiakini reader contained "false
allegations". The letter was published on Jan 9.
Malaysiakini legal advisor R Sivarasa attempted to persuade the
police team not to remove computers not essential to the
investigation, saying that Malaysiakini was prepared to give a
written undertaking that nothing in the servers would be altered or
any evidence erased.
Kamaruddin brushed off the offer and also refused permission for
staff to make back-up copies of the material in the servers or to
print out a list of the files. He also refused to give a commitment
as to when the equipment would be returned.
At a press conference after the raid, Gan described the action as an
excuse to shut down Malaysiakini, saying the letter was not seditious
but only "a comparative study based on facts".
"The government's pledge not to censor the Internet has been shot to
pieces," he said.
"This is a malicious attempt by the authorities to shut down the
website as the police insisted on taking away computers which are
totally unrelated to their investigation."
In its police report, Umno Youth claimed that the letter had
questioned Malay privileges and contained false allegation that the
government was unfair to other races.
The New Straits Times quoted Umno Youth information chief Azimi Daim
as saying at a press conference last Friday that the letter also
accused the government of neglecting Orang Asli interests.
In addition, Azimi said, the letter had equated Umno Youth with white
supremacist group Ku Klux Klan of the US.
Azimi said Malaysiakini should have censored the letter and urged the
Home Ministry to act against media organisations that failed to do so.
He added that the movement had no plans to respond to the letter.
Malaysiakini, set up in 1999, is Malaysia's only independent online
news daily. Unlike the print and electronic media, it is free of
licensing requirements because the government had pledged there would
be no control of Internet content in line with the move to create the
Multimedia Super Corridor, Malaysia's answer to Silicon Valley.
For further information, contact:
Malaysiakini: (603) 2283 5567 (office hours)
Steven Gan: 012-2482 328
21-01-2003, 12:06 AM
Monday, January 20, 2003 Posted: 1139 GMT
<FONT SIZE="+1">Raid silences Malaysian news Web site</FONT>
By Dave Brewer in London
A policeman confiscates computers during a raid of the office of Internet newspaper, Malaysiakini
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- One of Malaysia's only independent news groups was temporarily silenced Monday after a raid by government officials.
According to the operators of the Malaysiakini Web site, essential computer equipment needed to update and manage their online news service was confiscated in the raid.
The authorities, who moved in at lunchtime local time, said they were taking the action because a letter, published on the site had made false accusations and questioned special rights accorded to ethnic Malays.
They said such comments could instill hatred towards the government in non-Malay Malaysians.
Officials said they were investigating a police report relating to a charge under Malaysia's Sedition Act.
In all 14 newsroom computers were removed and four servers worth around RM150,000 ($40,000).
According to Azimi Daim, the information chief of Umno Youth, the Malay partner of the ruling coalition, the letter at the center of the investigation falsely accused the government of ignoring the benefits of indigenous people, known as "orang asli", and claimed allowances and medical care are only given to those who become Muslims.
"It also implied that Malays are the cause of poverty among Indians as Malay businessmen were said to have bought plantations for project development," he said.
Malaysiakini said the removal of the computer equipment left its team of journalists unable to update stories to the site.
However, the group said it was now working on other ways of producing news updates and the site can still be viewed. But all newsrooms tools, including the software for producing stories on the site, the content management system, have been confiscated.
The site has been operating from offices in Kuala Lumpur for three years and has built a following of users at home and abroad willing to pay a subscription for its news service.
Malaysiakini editor Steven Gan said that Malaysiakini's letters forum was set up to encourage free and open discussion on controversial issues.
"But that does not mean we publish letters without due care,' he said.
"We exercise a strict selective process in which letters that are considered personal attacks or those which could possibly breach existing laws are left out," he said.
"We believe that the said letter did not carry any seditious remarks that could incite racial violence, but was based on a factual comparative study."
Today's police report is the third made against Malaysiakini since its launch three years ago.
In March 2001, police in the Malaysian state of Selangor lodged a report against the Web site for quoting opposition comments questioning the official death toll from racial rioting in the city of Petaling Jaya.
In July of the same year, a university student leader filed a report claiming that a letter published on Malaysiakini bearing his name was not written by him.
But this is the first time that the site has, effectively, been silenced -- although Gan says he is planning on resuming Malaysiakini's news service as soon as possible.
21-01-2003, 12:16 AM
January 20 , 2003 22:08PM
Police Seize Computers From Malaysiakini.com Office
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 (Bernama) -- Police on Monday seized 15 computers and four servers from the Malaysiakini.com office to facilitate investigations following a report lodged by Umno Youth on an allegedly seditious report posted on the website on Jan 9.
However, Malaysiakini Editor-in-Chief Steven Gan claimed the raid was more to close down the operations of the Internet news portal and not to investigate the report made by Umno Youth.
"This raid is an action by the police to shut down Malaysiakini.com and is not part of an investigation on the alleged letter posted on our website," he told BERNAMA when contacted at his office.
He said the raiding party from the Cyber Crime Division and Forensic Unit of the Dang Wangi Police, came to Malaysiakini office at 12.30pm and left the premises only after three-and-a-half hours later.
He said the seizure of the computers had caused problems for Malaysiakini to continue its operations, especially in uploading latest news items.
"However, we expect to overcome the problem and are confident that Malaysiakini can resume normal operations within 24 hours," he said.
He said the company incurred about RM50,000 losses from the police raid.
Gan, who heads the website since it was set up several years ago, had been summoned to the Dang Wangi police station to give a statement at 11am tomorrow.
21-01-2003, 12:25 AM
BBC News Online
Monday, 20 January, 2003, 13:30 GMT
Malaysian police raid website office
<IMG SRC="http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/38715000/jpg/_38715915_malaysiakiniap300.jpg">Police took away all Malaysiakini's computers
Malaysian police have raided the offices of the independent news website, Malaysiakini.
The editor of the site, Steven Gan, told BBC News Online the police had taken away all of its headquarters' 19 computers and servers.
<blockquote>It is an obscenity to see well-fed Malays driving around in Mercedes Benzes and drawing fat salaries, yet availing themselves of... bumiputera (ethnic Malay) discount
Letter published by Malaysikini.com</blockquote>
The raid on Monday was in connection with a complaint issued by the youth wing of Malaysia's ruling party, Umno, over a letter carried by Malaysiakini which criticised the government's preferential treatment of ethnic Malays.
The party complained that the letter carried false accusations, could instil hatred towards the government among non-Malays and contained seditious remarks "that could create chaos in the country".
A police investigation is now under way based on the country's sedition act, Mr Gan said.
The police asked Malaysiakini to reveal the author of the offending letter, and when the journalists refused to break their source's anonymity, the police said they would take the office's computers, Mr Gan said.
The police were told that only one of the computers was capable of downloading letters, but "they insisted on taking the whole lot", Mr Gan told BBC News Online. Malaysiakini is now reliant on a back-up server outside the office, and is still writing stories.
A crowd of at least 200 people has been staging a candle-lit vigil outside Malaysiakini's offices in support.
Mr Gan said he was to make a police statement on Tuesday.
"My opinion is that (the letter) is not seditious... I am convinced it is a factual comparison between what is happening in the US and what is happening here," Mr Gan said.
"I think these guys (Umno) have been watching us," he added. The letter was not the real issue, but simply "allowed them the chance to come in here to shut us down", he said.
The letter was posted on the Malaysiakini site on Thursday, in response to a defence of the country's policy on ethnic Malays.
The letter is strongly critical of the government's preferential treatment of this ethnic group, occasionally using uncompromising language.
"It is an obscenity to see well-fed Malays driving around in Mercedes Benzes and drawing fat salaries, yet availing themselves of 7.5% bumiputera (ethnic Malay) discount' for posh houses, plentiful government scholarship forms to go overseas, entitlement to bumiputera unit trusts... when everyone else is in recession or going broke," the letter said.
"There has been a lot of unhappiness" about "rich Malays abusing such privileges", Mr Gan said.
Malays retain certain benefits under affirmative action programmes introduced in 1971. Along with indigenous people, they make up nearly 60% of the population with ethnic Chinese accounting for around 26% and Indians for 7%.
The special privileges established quotas allowing Malays to enter universities and gain employment even if less qualified than applicants from other races.
They also allocated 30% of the equity in local companies to Malays.
The policy was brought in to help the progress of Malays who in the 1970s were seen as economically disadvantaged.
21-01-2003, 07:33 AM
STRAITS TIMES Singapore
Tuesday, January 21, 2003
Police raid offices of online newspaper
<font size="+2">'We will stand by our journalistic principles,' said Mr Gan, who was ordered to appear at Kuala Lumpur police headquarters by Wednesday to give a statement.
'We will not reveal the writer's identity.'</font>
21-01-2003, 12:33 PM
For on-the-beat report on Malaysiakini,
please visit my weblog at:
<a href="http://www.usj.com.my/jeffblog.php3"><img src="http://www.usj.com.my/images/weblogjeff.gif"></a>
or via <a href="http://www.usj.com.my/jeffblog.php3">USJ.com.my</a>
21-01-2003, 12:57 PM
11:26am Tue Jan 21st, 2003
<FONT SIZE="+1">Malaysiakini supporters hold candlelight vigil</FONT>
Yap Mun Ching
Supporters of malaysiakini staged a candlelight vigil outside its office in Bangsar Utama, Kuala Lumpur yesterday evening to protest police action in seizing computers from the organisation and causing its temporary closure.
<IMG SRC="http://www.malaysiakini.com/imagebank/storyimages/malaysiakini_raid/candles25.jpg"> <IMG SRC="http://www.malaysiakini.com/imagebank/storyimages/malaysiakini_raid/candles46_steven_wanazizah_syed.jpg">
The two-hour vigil which started from 8:30 pm lasted for two hours and was attended by about two hundred supporters, including leaders of political parties, representatives of non-government organisations and student groups.
Among political leaders who were present were Keadilan president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Parti Rakyat Malaysia president Dr Syed Husin Ali, Parti Sosialis Malaysia chairperson Dr Mohd Nasir Hashim and Parti Rakyat Insan Malaysia pro-tem secretary general P Utayakumar.
About half an hour into the vigil, the crowd relocated to the Jalan Bangsar entrance to the Bangsar LRT station where it staged rallies and sang songs.
21-01-2003, 01:02 PM
12:24pm Tue Jan 21st, 2003
<FONT SIZE="+1">Malaysiakini online again</FONT>
<IMG SRC="http://www.malaysiakini.com/images/theDefaultImg.gif" ALIGN="LEFT">Malaysia’s only independent online daily, malaysiakiNi, resumed publication 10 hours after the site was temporarily disabled due to a police operation yesterday. A report on the police investigation and a press statement were posted at about 10.30pm.
Pending the return of computer equipment taken away during the raid, the site will continue to update its news section as its main priority. Readers may continue to contribute letters via the regular e-mail address: email@example.com
A 12-man team from the Dang Wangi district police station, which conducted the raid at the malaysiakini premises in Bangsar Utama from 12.30pm, seized 15 CPUs and four servers for investigation into a complaint of alleged sedition.
They were acting on a report lodged by Umno Youth on Jan 17, referring to a letter posted on malaysiakini on Jan 9.
In its police report, Umno Youth alleged that the contents had questioned Malay privileges and contained “false allegations” about the government’s treatment of other races and Orang Asli. It further claimed that the writer had linked Umno Youth with white supremacist group Ku Klux Klan of the US.
Malaysiakini editor-in-chief Steven Gan has refused to disclose the identity of the author of the letter, citing readers’ right to freedom of expression as well as journalistic ethics on the protection of confidentiality of sources.
He was called in to give a statement at the Dang Wangi police station at 11am today.
While yesterday’s incident drew local media coverage, several reports erroneously referred to the material that had been posted as an “article”.
Malaysiakini would like to draw the media’s attention to the distinction between an article and a letter. While an article originates from malaysiakini’s own sources or contributors, a letter is a voluntary form of expression from readers.
In this respect, the site provides readers with a free forum for opinion, comment and free exchange of ideas subject only to legal limitations.
Malaysiakini will continue to uphold its convictions on the freedom of expression and press freedom, given the government’s repeated pledge that there will be no censorship of Internet content in line with creation of the Multimedia Super Corridor, Malaysia’s answer to Silicon Valley.
For further information, contact:
Tel: (603) 2283 5567
Fax: (603) 2289 2579
Jan 21, 2003
21-01-2003, 02:49 PM
UMNO Youth filed a police report saying the Petrof letter
published by Malaysiakini January 9 is sedatious.
The Police says it is investigating the allegation based on
<font size="+1">FAQ: Sedition Act 1948</font>
2:02pm Tue Jan 21st, 2003
The Umno Youth report against malaysiakini and the resultant police raid yesterday have raised more than an eyebrow or two.
Malaysians are calling in by the dozens to ask if the police have the power to act as they did, in arriving unannounced and taking away computer equipment without a search warrant.
The answers lie in the provisions of the Sedition Act 1948, although the clauses are open to interpretation. Ultimately, it is the court that will decide if the letter posted on malaysiakini on Jan 9 was seditious as alleged.
Go to Malaysiakini to read the FAQ on <a href="http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/200301210018970.php"target="new">Sedation Act 1948</a>:
What is considered “seditious”?
Are there exclusions?
Who can be charged under the act?
What is the penalty for these offences?
Can someone be charged for possessing seditious material?
Who has been charged recently?
What is the requirement on the standard of evidence?
Is it compulsory for the police to obtain a search warrant?
Can the police arrest anyone without a warrant?
What could happen to any newspaper that contains seditious matter?
What other orders may the court issue?
21-01-2003, 04:05 PM
2:40pm Tue Jan 21st, 2003
<FONT SIZE="+1">Suhakam to the defence</FONT>
Human rights commissioner Prof Hamdan Adnan today described yesterday’s police raid on the malaysiakini office in Kuala Lumpur as a measure to silence critical views and political dissent.
He said that “state power should not be abused” to clamp down on malaysiakini, which has been in operation since November 1999.
Hamdan viewed the police action as a violation of press freedom, based on the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights — Article 19 provides the right to freedom of speech. Malaysia has ratified the declaration.
On Umno Youth’s police report last Friday against malaysiakini, which led to the raid being mounted, Hamdan said the movement could have sued the editor if it had felt slighted by the letter that was posted.
The letter, published on Jan 9, purportedly questioned Malay special rights and equated members of the Youth wing to the Ku Klux Klan of the US.
“Umno Youth is too sensitive. Why don’t they sue you (malaysiakini) for defamation instead of abusing state power to clamp down on the organisation,” he said, when contacted today.
“We have a right to information. Certain things like critical views should be out in the open. With new technology (Internet) we cannot expect to keep these away.”
Hamdan urged the police to exercise “proper cause of action and proper reasoning” instead of “showing force” which could jeorpadise the livelihood of malaysiakini employees.
He felt that the police action would lead to more journalists becoming discontented with their profession and having no choice but to take their issues to platforms outside the country.
Energy, Communications and Multimedia ministry parliament secretary Chia Kwang Chye, when contacted, said he remained optimistic that there would be no censorship of Internet content.
He said this is guaranteed under the Multimedia and Communications Act 2000 and the bill of guarantee. The legislation is under review to encourage self-regulation by content providers.
However, Chia, who is also Gerakan secretary-general, also cautioned that content providers have to be responsible as they are still subject to laws such as the Sedition Act 1948.
Asked if the police action was a tactic to curb free speech, Chia said that the “no censorship guarantee” on web site content also invites “the other party to come into play”.
“This is where civil and criminal laws apply to prevent people from spreading false news or information,” he added.
21-01-2003, 04:09 PM
<font size="+1">What riled up UMNO Youth?
Read the <a href="http://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/200301090033726.php"target="new">Petrof Letter</a>, click the banner below:</font>
<a href="http://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/200301090033726.php"target="new"><img src="http://www.my1ads.com/images/banners/0/M11_120.gif"></a>
21-01-2003, 10:37 PM
8:18pm Tue Jan 21st, 2003
<FONT SIZE="+1">Further action likely, but Malaysiakini will continue</FONT>
Although it appears that the police will take further action against malaysiakini, its editor-in-chief Steven Gan said today the country’s first online daily will continue operating as usual.
<IMG SRC="http://www.malaysiakini.com/images/theDefaultImg.gif" ALIGN="LEFT">He said this after having his statement recorded at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters in relation to a police report lodged against the website by Umno Youth.
“From the line of questioning, I have strong belief that they will likely take action against me in the end… I am prepared for any consequences,” he said when met after the three-hour questioning session which started at 11.30am.
Gan said the online daily now faces difficulties in work after the police confiscated 15 central processing units and four servers during a raid yesterday.
“It is a bit hard for our journalists to work but we are receiving support and donations that will keep us going.
“There was a gentleman, USJ.com founder and webmaster Jeff Ooi, who donated his daughter’s computer to us soon after the raid last night,” he said.
Gan added malaysiakini expected more computers to be donated and with this he hoped operations will return to normal over the next few days.
... Gan told reporters this afternoon that the police were interested to gather more details on the process of selecting letters from readers as well as the staff responsible for the publication of these materials, received mostly by e-mails.
He added malaysiakini sub-editors will also have to give their statements over the next two days.
When asked, he said the public could only speculate as to why there were swift actions against the three-year-old website based on the latest police report, the third since its inception.
“You should ask the police, I have no idea. But as the election is coming, there is every reason why the government wants to stop an independent voice,” he said.
About 20-odd people gathered at the police headquarters to express their support for Gan and malaysiakini.
Among those present were Keadilan supreme council member Khalid Jaafar, Kota Melaka member of Parliament Kerk Kim Hock and his predecessor Lim Guan Eng.
Kerk, who is also DAP secretary-general, said it was “shocking that a simple police report seemed to have turned into what the public perceive now as persecution”.
He said when he lodged a police report against a seditious article published on the Umno website last year, no action was ever taken.
“The Umno headquarters removed the article and the police never did anything to the website as what they are doing to malaysiakini now.
“Somehow the police are very efficient in certain cases,” he stressed.
Kerk urged Inspector-General of Police Norian Mai to explain if the raid on malaysiakini was an attempt to stifle press freedom.
Meanwhile, Lim said supporters of press freedom in the country must show their backing for the website because the government was forcing it to submit to the official line of news.
“It is not malaysiakini but press freedom that is under attack,” he said.
Malaysiakini, co-founded by Gan and company Chief Executive Officer Premesh Chandran, was launched on the eve of the November 1999 general election and had won numerous international awards in recognition for its truthful reporting and struggle for press freedom.
21-01-2003, 10:48 PM
<font size="+1">Related stories and letters:
<a href="http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/200301210018973.php"target="new">Press freedom groups condemn violation of human rights</a></font>
The Southeast Asian Press Alliance (Seapa) has condemned yesterday’s police raid on the malaysiakini office, during which 15 CPUs and four servers were seized, as a “grave violation of press freedom”.
<FONT SIZE="+1"><a href="http://www.malaysia.net/aliran/ms/2003/0120.html"target="new">Hands Off Malaysiakini!
Abolish Sedition Act</a></font>
Aliran strongly condemns the police raid on the malaysiakini office this afternoon (Monday, 20 January 2003) which led to the police's removal of all nineteen (19) computers used by malaysiakini journalists and personnel and three (3) servers. What justifications can the police possibly give to defend such heavy-handed action?
<font size="+1"><a href="http://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/200301210033775.php"target="new">For whom the bells toll, they toll for thee...</a> </font>
Umar Mukhtar: For the record, I do not fully agree with the stuff written by Petrof, but I do not see anything seditious beyond him expressing what we thinking Malay Malaysians have suspected were the frustrations of a large section of our Chinese and Indian citizenry, rightly or wrongly.
<font size="+1"><a href="http://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/200301210033777.php"target="new">Malaysiakini safer with off-shore servers</a> </font>
Peng Frank: I am a former Malaysian and was appalled by the ‘gestapo’ tactic of the Malaysian government in the raid confiscating your equipment... I will like to suggest that you relocate your webservers offshore and since I am in Vancouver British Columbia, Canada, I think it'll be perfect for you to do it here.
21-01-2003, 10:50 PM
<a href="http://www.malaysiakini.com/sponsor/"target="new"><img src="http://184.108.40.206/images/banners/0/M11_70.gif"></a>
21-01-2003, 11:23 PM
January 21 , 2003 22:04PM
<FONT SIZE="+1">Malaysiakini: Computers Seized For Further Forensic Analysis, Says Norian</FONT>
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 21 (Bernama) -- The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Norian Mai said the police seized several computers from Malaysiakini's office yesterday for further forensic analysis after its Editor-in-Chief Steven Gan refused to cooperate with the police.
He said the seizure was part of police investigation to identify the writer of an allegedly seditious letter posted on the website of the Internet news provider and the computer which was used to upload it.
Norian also confirmed that the police had recorded a statement from Gan Tuesday after he turned up at the Dang Wangi Police District Headquarters.
"The police will not put any form of pressure on Malaysiakini to reveal the source of the letter as the police have their own way of getting information on the origin of the letter," he told reporters after witnessing the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Koperasi Polis Diraja Malaysia Berhad and DRB-Hicom Information Technologies Sdn Bhd at Bukit Aman.
He also said that the police had no intention to stop the Internet news provider from continuing and "it's up to the Malaysiakini management to decide."
...In a related development, Gan said Malaysiakini would not give any clue to police as to who "Petrof" is in order to protect his or her identity.
"I told them (police) that we cannot reveal the writer's identity," he told reporters after being questioned for nearly four hours.
Meanwhile, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Zainal Abidin Zin said the police raid on Malaysiakini's office yesterday was to defend the rights of the Malaysian people.
He said the government's pledge not to censor the Internet should not be open to abuse and anyone not happy with the actions taken by the government or its agencies like the police could bring it to court.
"Where there are any parties committing acts which are unjust against society, the government must act responsibly to defend the rights of the people," he said at a press conference after the National Drugs Council meeting in Putrajaya.
21-01-2003, 11:29 PM
Tue January 21, 2003 06:00 AM ET
<font size="+1">Malaysian Defends Police Raid on Office of Web Site</font>
By Patrick Chalmers
(Steven) Gan said he was questioned by police for three hours on Tuesday about who was responsible for the content and maintenance of the site, www.malaysiakini.com.
"I think they are going after me. I think they will take action against me, the question is when," he told Reuters.
22-01-2003, 08:43 AM
Source : http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=sedition
se·di·tion ( P ) Pronunciation Key (s-dshn)
Conduct or language inciting rebellion against the authority of a state.
[Middle English sedicioun, violent party strife, from Old French sedition, from Latin sditi, sditin- : sd-, s-, apart; see s(w)e- in Indo-European Roots + iti, act of going (from itus, past participle of re, to go. See ei- in Indo-European Roots).]
Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
sedition was Word of the Day on November 6, 2001.
Source: Dictionary.com Word of the Day
\Se*di"tion\, n. [OE. sedicioun, OF. sedition, F. s['e]dition, fr. L. seditio, originally, a going aside; hence, an insurrectionary separation; pref. se-, sed-, aside + itio a going, fr. ire, itum, to go. Cf. Issue.] 1. The raising of commotion in a state, not amounting to insurrection; conduct tending to treason, but without an overt act; excitement of discontent against the government, or of resistance to lawful authority.
In soothing them, we nourish 'gainst our senate The cockle of rebellion, insolence, sedition. --Shak.
Noisy demagogues who had been accused of sedition. --Macaulay.
2. Dissension; division; schism. [Obs.]
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, . . . emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies. --Gal. v. 19, 20.
Syn: Insurrection; tumult; uproar; riot; rebellion; revolt. See Insurrection.
Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.
n : an illegal action inciting resistance to lawful authority and tending to cause the disruption or overthrow of the government
Source: WordNet ® 1.6, © 1997 Princeton University
now that we know what sedition means, has anybody out there been incited into a state of resistance, rebellion or insurrection against the msian govt of the day because of what petrof wrote? you must count yourself out if you have been harbouring such "seditious" tendencies b4 reading petrof's article.
next q - what is the profile of a typical mkini reader?
bigger q - if all was quiet and norm, would u have known about the article? to be honest, the ruckus woke me from my innocent slumber. now my adrenalin is gushing, my blood boiling.
and the cream - if the article did not tickle ur anti-govt sentiments, what about the actions of the police? there have been suggestions of selective prosecution and unnecessary usage of public funds and resources. such talk and actions make it hard for me not to develop a pungent taste in my mouth. how many of u feel the same? now, don't get me wrong, pls don't suddenly develop a desire to overthrow the govt or hate the police. i'm just asking u to disect the meaning of sedition. :)
p.s. say what u like, feel what u like, for all the shortcomings and failures of the govt, its hard to deny that the leadership of the day ranks high among the better and its gonna be real tough getting replacement capabilities.
22-01-2003, 05:51 PM
12:34pm Wed Jan 22nd, 2003
<FONT SIZE="+1">Police raid on Malaysiakini damaging to country’s image, sa politicians</FONT>
<img src="http://www.malaysiakini.com/imagebank/mugshot/yap%20piau%20hon.jpg" align="left"> When asked for his comments regarding the recent police crackdown on malaysiakini, MCA MP for Serdang Yap Pian Hon said there should be clear-cut policies on what type of online content jeopardises national security.
He also questioned why the police had yet to investigate his report recently lodged against a Chinese electronic discussion group called kopitiam.com that had alleged he was involved in vice activities in Serdang, which included prostitution.
Yap, an MCA central committee member, is linked to Team B led by deputy president Lim Ah Lek. He has denied the allegations, saying the whole thing is a “political ploy (by team A led by MCA chief Dr Ling Liong Sik) to wallop Team B”.
No investigation yet
He said he was unaware if police had started any investigation although he lodged the report against the website last month.
He urged the police to investigate his report as speedily as they launched an investigation into Umno Youth’s report on malaysiakini.
“I want the police to tell me the outcome of the investigation (on kopitiam.com),” he said when contacted yesterday.
22-01-2003, 05:56 PM
1:36pm Wed Jan 22nd, 2003
<FONT SIZE="+1">Police raid wrong, says Bar Council</FONT>
Joining other groups in condemning the raid o_n malaysiakini was the Bar Council which described the action as “unreasonable and unwarranted”.
In a press statement yesterday, its vice-chairperson Kuthubul Zaman Bukhari said the act was a “hindrance to a progressive nation that is thriving to achieve developed status by 2020".
On the confiscation of computer hardware from malaysiakini’s office, he said there was no necessity for the police to seize the operational equipment of the website to prove a charge of sedition.
He added the offending publication was readily available and in the normal course of investigation, the o_nline daily’s editor-in-chief Steven Gan or any staff could have been interviewed and asked to provide the required information.
“Failing which, the police could have taken appropriate measures against them under the law,” he said.
Suppress freedom of speech
Kuthubul said the raid and seizure appeared to be an attempt to suppress freedom of speech.
“The extreme action taken by the police seems to be an attempt to silence the voice of dissent and to suppress freedom of speech which is the right of all Malaysians...Public debate should never be curtailed in such a fashion,” he stressed.
Meanwhile New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists had written a letter to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday to express its "outrage" by the police raid.
The letter, signed by CPJ acting director Joel Siman, wants the government to "return malaysiakini's property immediately and to drop the threat to pursue legal action".
"By publishing letters from its readers and protecting its source, malaysiakini is upholding the internationally accepted standards of a free press in facilitating public discussion of controversial issues."
The letter was copied to 26 personalities and organisations, including to deputy prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Malaysian Human Rights Organisation.
22-01-2003, 11:17 PM
3:52pm Wed Jan 22nd, 2003
<FONT SIZE="+1">Malaysiakini invites Umno Youth to respond to letter</FONT>
Umno Youth, which has made a police report that a letter posted o_n the Malaysiakini web site o_n Jan 9 was "seditious" in nature, is invited to respond to the issues raised by the writer.
As an open forum for all Malaysians to freely express their views, the site remains open to any reply that Umno Youth may choose to send.
Malaysiakini Editor-in-Chief Steven Gan’s invitation follows Umno Youth’s own call in an <a href="http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/content.asp?y=2003&dt=0122&pub=Utusan_Malaysia&sec=Forum&pg=fo_04.htm"target="new">Utusan Malaysia</a> report today for citizens to use "proper channels to openly express their views without hiding behind pseudonyms in cowardly fashion".
Gan, who was intensively questioned by Dang Wang police yesterday over the decision to publish the letter, has refused to disclose the identity of the writer o_n journalistic principle. He has taken responsibility for uploading the letter.
Police seized 15 CPUs and four servers from the malaysiakini office during a raid two days ago, after a 90-minute meeting with senior staff. This disabled editorial operations for 10 hours, but the site has since resumed publication of news reports and letters.
He also rebutted IGP Norian Mai’s comment yesterday, quoted by national news agency Bernama, that seizure of the equipment was necessary because he (Gan) had "refused to co-operate" with police.
"I specifically told Supt Mohd Kamaruddin Md Din and other senior officers during the meeting o_n Monday that we were willing to co-operate. We asked them not to take away all the hardware as that would cripple our editorial operations. When they rejected our request, we did not obstruct them from removing the equipment," he said.
"Our lawyers, who were also present during the exercise, intervened on our behalf. The police rejected our offer of a written undertaking that there would be no alteration of any information stored in the computers."
The incident and related issues have received widespread media coverage locally and internationally. Several human rights and media advocacy groupings have expressed outrage over the police action.
Comments from public-interest groups have echoed calls to the Malaysian government to uphold its commitment to keep Internet content free of official control, and to expand press freedom, access to information and the right to free expression.
Malaysiakini will continue to uphold its convictions o_n the freedom of expression and press freedom, given the government’s repeated pledge that there will be no censorship of Internet content in line with the creation of the Multimedia Super Corridor, Malaysia’s answer to Silicon Valley.
For further information, contact:
Tel: (603) 2283 5567
Fax: (603) 2289 2579
22-01-2003, 11:23 PM
9:55pm Wed Jan 22nd, 2003
<FONT SIZE="+1">Four more quizzed, police accused of ‘rudeness’</FONT>
Four more malaysiakini editorial staff were questioned by the police today over the publication of a controversial letter as the news site’s supporters lodged two reports against the police over their unruly behaviour.
About 20 supporters arrived at Dang Wangi district police headquarters at 2pm and gathered near the main entrance. This was followed shortly by the four malaysiakini staff concerned led by Editor-in-Chief Steven Gan.
<IMG SRC="http://www.malaysiakini.com/imagebank/storyimages/malaysiakini_raid/220103police%20hadi%2005%20our%20group.jpg" ALIGN="LEFT">The crowd held posters which read ‘press freedom’ while passing vehicles honked in support.
District police chief Hadi Ho Abdullah and several police officers then approached the crowd and demanded to know why those not there for the police interview — including malaysiakini legal counsel Latheefa Koya — were present.
After Latheefa introduced herself to Hadi, the police chief shouted at her and insisted that she could not enter the police headquarters unless she could first point out her client.
"I don’t care... You told me you are a lawyer, who is your client, where is your client? Show me your client. Have you got the permit, this is an unlawful assembly," he said.
Latheefa identified the four — malaysiakini news editor Nash Rahman, chief sub-editor Chuah Siew Eng, sub-editors R Anandakrishnan and Chow Chui Lin — and was allowed into the police station with them.
Hadi then ordered the rest to move to the other side of the road. Several of his officers who remained at the entrance, however, approached the crowd unexpectedly and without any warning, tore all the posters.
Angered by the "rudeness of the police", media activist Fathi Aris Omar and a woman who wished to be known as Norhayati later enter the police station to lodge reports against them.
Fathi said the police had acted in a manner which tarnished their own image and could sour the relationship between the public and the police force.
Questioned for three hours
Meanwhile, the four malaysiakini staff were questioned separately starting 2.30pm. The questioning sessions took about three hours.
Today’s interrogation followed the four-hour police interview of Gan yesterday.
At the end of the questioning sessions today, the police returned six central processing units, which were among the 15 CPUs and four servers which they confiscated in a raid o_n Monday, to malaysiakini.
Hadi said the six had been examined by the police while the remaining computer hardware will be returned o_nce the forensic analysis is completed.
22-01-2003, 11:30 PM
9:20pm Wed Jan 22nd, 2003
<FONT SIZE="+1">Police return six seized computers</FONT>
Two days after the police raided the office of news website malaysiakini and confiscated 19 computers, six of the units were returned today.
<IMG SRC="http://www.malaysiakini.com/images/theDefaultImg.gif" ALIGN="LEFT">The six computers were handed over to malaysiakini editor-in-chief Steven Gan at the Dang Wangi police station.
"This is a small victory for malaysiakini. Earlier, the police told us that it could be weeks or months before the computers are returned," he said.
Gan said that the speedy return of the computers was due to the strong protest from civil groups, both in Malaysia and overseas.
Among those which have issued protest statements include the 10,000-strong Malaysian Bar, Aliran, Hakam, Suaram and international organisations — the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, Bangkok-based Southeast Asian Press Alliance and London-based Amnesty International.
"We would like to thank our supporters who have donated their computers to us over the past few days so that we can continue our operation. With the release the these six computers, we should be able to return some of these donated computers soon," said Gan.
He said that the police have told him that other computers will be released as soon as they have completed the forensic examination of the units.
"We urge the police to immediately return the other 13 computers," said Gan.
<IMG SRC="http://www.malaysiakini.com/imagebank/storyimages/malaysiakini_raid/220103computer_return13.jpg" ALIGN="LEFT">At the handover of the seized computers, which was done at 6.30pm, investigation officer ASP Alfazny Ahmad signed the release order after Gan has verified the identity of the computers.
Both men also added their initials o_n the computers’ castings with a whiteboard marker. The computers were later loaded into a van belonging to a staff member of malaysiakini.
The seizure of the computers was in response to a report lodged by Umno Youth last week against a letter published by malaysiakini which the movement claimed was seditious.
The hardware — 15 computers and four servers — were confiscated when Gan refused to divulge the identity of the writer o_n the grounds of professional ethics.
23-01-2003, 07:22 AM
STRAITS TIMES Singapore
Thursday, 23 January 2003
<font size="+1">Police query online paper's staff over 'seditious' letter </font>
The action sparks outcry from critics who say it bodes ill for the IT industry and is an attack on freedom of speech
By Leslie Lau
MALAYSIAN police have questioned four journalists from a local online newspaper, in a sedition investigation that critics say is an attack on the freedom of speech and a reversal of the government's promise not to censor the Internet.
Speaking to The Straits Times yesterday, Mr (Steven) Gan said: '<a href="http://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/200301090033726.php"target="new">The letter</a> was definitely not seditious. It was provocative but not seditious.
'I believe the police will charge me. They are definitely going after me.'
...Mr Gan noted: 'The debate about Malay special rights on our letters column was sparked off by a statement by the Prime Minister a few months ago who asked Malays to no longer walk on crutches and depend on the government.'
He added that he was ultimately responsible for all letters published, 'even though I may not agree with the views expressed in them'.
The National Human Rights Commission (Suhakam), whose members are appointed by the government, criticised the police action as a move that 'bodes ill for the IT industry and freedom of speech'.
'Umno Youth could have sued the editor if it felt slighted by the letter but state power should not be abused,' said a Suhakam member, Professor Hamdan Adnan.
The government has responded by pointing out that the authorities' promise not to censor the Internet applies only if people behave.
The Deputy Home Minister, Datuk Zainal Abidin Zin, said the government's agreement to allow freedom of expression on the Internet was not a licence to say anything.
A prominent corporate figure in the IT industry told The Straits Times: 'We accept there are limits to freedom of speech but we still believe in self-regulation on the Internet. The police action was akin to trying to shut down the entire operations of Malaysiakini.'
Despite criticisms from many rights groups, there was surprisingly little debate on local online news forums about the raid on the newspaper's office.
23-01-2003, 11:53 PM
MALAYSIAKINI.COM Updates 23.01.2003
<font size="+1"><a href="http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/200301230018995.php"target="new">Raid an assault on 'the mother of all freedoms': Param</a></font>
A former Bar Council chairperson has expressed "grave concern" over the police raid at malaysiakini’s office o_n Monday o_n grounds that the act amounts to an "assault o n freedom of expression" in the country.
Param Cumarasamy who is also the UN Special Rapporteur o_n the Independence of Judges and Lawyers said the "wild action" of police in seizing 15 computers and four servers from the o_nline daily has put at stake freedom of the press.
In a separate statement, the Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) condemned the police action which it considered to be "politically-motivated and aimed at eliminating the few spaces of freedom left in the Malaysian media".
<font size="+1"><a href="http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/200301230018991.php"target="new">What happened to our police reports? ask complainants </a></font>
Bewildered complainants today compared the speed with which police are investigating Umno Youth’s sedition allegation against malaysiakini with that of the reports lodged against the movement
DAP Youth (Dapsy) secretary Loke Siew Fook claimed that police have yet to inform him of the status of a report he lodged against Umno Youth education bureau chief Dr Adham Baba o_n Nov 15 last year.
Loke claimed that Adham had made the statement o_n the Umno Youth website under the heading ‘Prejudis melampau cauvinis Cina, kerajaan digesa tutup semua SJKC’ (Chinese education chauvinists’ prejudice is too much, government urged to close Chinese schools) is against the Federal Constitution as it questioned the right of Malaysians to vernacular education.
Malaysian Tamil Educational Research and Development Foundation president M Manogar also lodged a report against Adham o_n Nov 19.
Malaysian Chinese Organisation Election Appeals Committee (Suqiu) alleged that its report against Umno Youth for demonstrating outside the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (SCAH) o_n Aug 18, 2000 has not received much attention.
<font size="+1"><a href="http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/200301230018987.php"target="new">Encourage open and free media, gov’t told </a></font>
More international support pour in for malaysiakini as the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CFE) expressed its grave concern over the recent police raid o_n the independent web-based news company.
CJFE, a non-governmental organisation that works to promote and protect press freedom around the world, is asking the High Commissioner of Malaysia in Canada to convey its concerns to Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
On the local front, women’s groups have also come out to voice their support for malaysiakini.
Sisters In Islam, All Women's Action Society, Women's Aid Organisation, Women's Agenda for Change and Women's Development Collective slammed the police action as a "serious violation of freedom of expression".
In a joint press statement today, they said the police could have avoided the drastic action taken by interviewing the editor first.
23-01-2003, 11:59 PM
MALAYSIAKINI.COM Updates 23.01.2003
<font size="+1"><a href="http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/200301230018996.php"target="new">MCA, MIC, Gerakan Youth chiefs express concern over raid</font></a>
Key partners of Umno Youth in the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition have questioned the police action of seizing 19 computers from o_nline news daily malaysiakini in a controversial raid o_n Monday.
MCA Youth chief O_ng Tee Keat said he was puzzled by the four-hour raid o_n malaysiakini’s office.
"I was shocked by the news. I feel uneasy with the police action. O_n what basis was the action taken? It wasn’t convincing," he told malaysiakini.
Gerakan Youth chief Mah Siew Keong lamented that the police raid had provided the opportunity for "certain quarters to criticise the authorities".
Mah expressed hope that the raid o_n the popular o_nline daily is a "one-off incident".
Meanwhile, MIC Youth chief SA Vigneswaran also questioned the need to seize all the computers from the o_nline daily’s editorial department.
"I know malaysiakini is an independent news organisation, but it should exercise some limits," Vigneswaran said.
Opposition DAP Youth chairperson Nga Kor Ming said police should be professional and remain impartial in carrying out its duty rather than being used by Umno to suppress voices of dissent.
"The police has given the public an impression that whenever there is a report lodged by Umno, prompt action will be taken, whereas when the report is lodged by the opposition, nothing is done."
PAS Youth chief Mahfuz Omar said Umno Youth should point their finger at Prime Minister and Umno leader Dr Mahathir Mohamad before claiming that the letter published by malaysiakini had questioned Malays’ special rights.
"All of us, including Umno Youth, should not forget that Mahathir had said the Malays should not rely o_n their special rights and has contemplated abolishing the provisions. Didn’t he also stir up such sensitive issues?"
PRM Youth in their statement yesterday also questioned the timing of the police report and the raid, implying that it may be connected to the impending general elections, which is due in 2004 or earlier.
24-01-2003, 12:03 AM
6:57pm Thu Jan 23rd, 2003
<FONT SIZE="+1">Umno Youth ready for dialogue on media issues with Malaysiakini</FONT>
Umno Youth is prepared to have a dialogue with malaysiakini journalists o_n press freedom and media issues, its information chief Azimi Daim said today.
Azimi, who lodged a police report o_n Friday against a ‘seditious’ letter published in malaysiakini, said the subject of press freedom is open for interpretation, and that the wing is willing to have a dialogue about it.
"I will bring along our media experts to the dialogue," he said when responding to malaysiakini’s informal invitation over the telephone this morning.
He was earlier asked if Umno Youth would reply to the letter written by malaysiakini reader ‘Petrof’, which Umno Youth claimed had likened the wing with the white supremacist group Ku Klux Klan.
"We will not respond to the letter in writing but we are willing to meet malaysiakini editors if there is official invitation to us," he said.
Azimi maintained that Petrof’s letter was written in bad faith and could create chaos among races in Malaysia.
24-01-2003, 12:49 AM
All of us must agree that the police raid on malaysiakini.com has been very successful.... for malaysiakini's publicity. Now, the whole world knows about malaysiakini.com. Even I actually didn't realize or notice that the website existed. I am sure a lot of people, including our students overseas will read about this raid in their media and start surfing the pages of malaysiakini regularly. Excuse me now... i have to go and read some news...
24-01-2003, 04:15 PM
24-01-2003, 04:41 PM
24-01-2003, 06:00 PM
4:20pm Fri Jan 24th, 2003
<FONT SIZE="+1">Police raid on Malaysiakini under more fire</FONT>
Umno Youth should have used the same media space to explain its objection to the allegedly seditious letter published by malaysiakini o_n Jan 9, said the International Movement for a Just World (Just).
In a joint press statement, its president Dr Chandra Muzaffar and former secretary-general Dr A Farish Noor said this would have been in accordance with the "fundamental principles of democracy as well as adab (civil etiquette) of difference and disagreement in Islam".
"At a time when Malaysia is trying to present itself as a model democratic Muslim state and a haven for progressive Muslim thought, moves such as these o_nly serve to reinforce the mainstream Western media stereotyping of Malaysia as a repressive state.
"Progressive Islam can o_nly develop in a society that is democratic and tolerant of differences in opinion," they said.
The duo added the authorities should have invited malaysiakini to explain their position rather than resorting to the use of strong-arm tactics if they felt they had a case against the o_nline daily.
"In a democratic society, any party that feels strongly about any comment/statement should abide by the rules of civil debate and respond to the statement by writing or open discussion," they said, adding that the police raid was a blatant attempt to suppress freedom of expression.
15-02-2003, 10:00 AM
NEW STRAITS TIMES
Saturday, February 15, 2003
<font size="+1">Knee-jerk reaction cost Umno Youth an opportunity to rise to the occasion</font>
The whole episode could have been avoided had Umno Youth been more mature in dealing with needling by individuals or groups bent on questioning sensitive issues pertaining to race and privilege.
It would also have helped if Umno Youth had done some background research on Malaysiakini, which, financially, was in dire straits.
...And, Umno Youth's aversity to the Internet news provider has, ironically, helped Malaysiakini gain a firmer footing.
Regardless of whether Malaysiakini's revival is good or otherwise for the nation, the issue which should have been addressed has now been ignored.
If Umno Youth had been truly sickened by what was written by Petrof, surely, given its huge membership, any one of its members or leaders could have been able to rebut what the writer said.
An apolitical professional Malay said: "For so many years the Malays and Bumiputeras have been subjected to derision and derogatory remarks by their non-Malay counterparts over their privileges and rights.
"Some of us choose to be apologetic about them.
"A few take it upon themselves to side with the non-Malays to condemn the provisions.
"And others get riled when the privileges and rights are questioned.
"To my mind, Umno Youth, which is supposed to be the defender of these rights and privileges, should have the conviction and political will to defend them every time someone takes a dig at them."
...If anything, the manner Umno Youth reacted to it only gave credence to the likes of Petrof and others like him or her.
Furthermore, Umno Youth should again realise that its parent body has started talking about the need to remove the crutch that is the special privileges accorded to the Malays.
In fact, some of the measures are already in motion. For example, the doing away with the quota system for admission into public institutions of higher learning.
What Umno Youth should be doing right now is to publicly point out to its critics that it has the political will to make these changes.
Also, that it will not resort to measures that are no different to the seditious, racist and chauvinistic values promoted by the likes of Petrof, who are cowards hiding behind pseudonyms.
Umno Youth must have the courage of its convictions.
Hiding behind the skirts of the authorities does not a champion make.
21-02-2003, 05:23 PM
1:07pm Fri Feb 21st, 2003
<FONT SIZE="+1">Umno Youth says police at fault for raid on Malaysiakini</FONT>
Yap Mun Ching
An Umno Youth leader said yesterday that the police, and not the movement, should be held responsible for carrying out a widely criticised raid o_n malaysiakini last month, during which 15 computers and four servers were seized.
Umno Youth exco member Nur Jazlan Mohamed said the movement had lodged a police report against malaysiakini because it felt that the o_nline daily had committed an offence under the Sedition Act but added that Umno Youth had no say in the actions of the police after lodging the report.
...The raid prompted condemnation from domestic and international groups for what is seen as a move to suppress press freedom.
The police have since returned all computers but retained possession of four servers for their investigations into the identity of the letter writer.
Umno Youth for free speech
Meanwhile, Nur Jazlan also downplayed recent criticism by New Straits Times columnist Shamsul Akmar that the actions of Umno Youth had merely invigorated new interest in malaysiakini, saying, "Fine, malaysiakini, have your six months".
The Youth leader said that the movement had no problems with free speech but had to act if it felt that the laws had been violated.
"At Umno Youth, we condone free speech. We do not mind but as a political institution, we have to follow legal procedures," he said.
In his column published last Saturday, Shamsul criticised Umno Youth for not being sufficiently mature in dealing with needling by individuals or groups bent o_n questioning sensitive issues pertaining to race and privilege.
The columnist said that the Jan 20 incident had instead provided malaysiakini with a lifeline, and assisted the website in getting back support which is said to have been thinning since the height of the push for reformasi and the 1999 general election.
28-02-2003, 05:13 PM
2:10pm Fri Feb 28th, 2003
<FONT SIZE="+1">Umno Youth says Malaysiakini is 'healthy' for media scene</FONT>
A month after lodging a police report against malaysiakini, Umno Youth now says the o_nline daily is a healthy development in the local media scene as it has raised issues and sought answers to improve political discussions in the country.
<IMG SRC="http://www.malaysiakini.com/imagebank/storyimages/280203siasah_magazine.jpg" ALIGN="LEFT">The movement's information chief Azimi Daim reportedly said this in an interview with youth magazine Siasah published in its March edition.
"Actually malaysiakini is a platform used by various political leaders; there are those who raise issues and there are those who will reply. It is a platform for discussion of political issues.
"I see what malaysiakini is doing as an alternative media as a healthy thing. It is a healthy development," he was quoted as saying.
Azimi lodged a police report o_n Jan 17, calling for an investigation into an allegedly seditious letter written by Petrof and published by malaysiakini two weeks before. Four days later, the police raided malaysiakini office and seized 19 of its computers, for which all except four servers have been returned.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.1.12 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.