Eviction order... 2nd stroke on Malaysiakini
Eviction order... 2nd stroke on Malaysiakini.
Police raids Malaysiakini
Umno Youth lodges police report against malaysiakini
Jan 24, 03 03:34pm
Malaysiakini slapped with eviction order
Malaysiakini has been served an order to vacate its rented premises in Bangsar Utama by landlord PC Suria because the o_nline website had been found to be involved in "unlawful" activities.
PC Suria in a Jan 22 letter to malaysiakini has asked the controversial o_nline daily to vacate its office by the end of February.
PC Suria is a sole distributor of computer products produced by Perbadanan Komputer Nasional Bhd (Nascom). Launched in 1997, PC Suria is now wholly owned by Nascom, a government-backed enterprise formerly known as PC Malaysia Bhd.
According to the notice of termination, the main reason for the eviction order is that malaysiakini "had been found involved in activities which contravene the laws of the country".
The eviction order, signed by PC Suria managing director Orissa Baharum, came two days after the police raided the malaysiakini’s office and seized 19 computers, including four servers.
The raid followed a police report lodged by Umno Youth o_n Jan 17 over a letter published o_n the website.
"I’m outraged by the eviction order. This is yet another attempt to try to shut malaysiakini down. We believe that the authorities have put pressure o_n PC Suria to evict us," said Gan.
"This latest attack o_n malaysiakini will be another splotch o_n Malaysia’s image as an information technology hub. IT investors have been spooked by the police seizure of our computers. It shows that the authorities will not respect the integrity and confidentiality of the information contained in servers of IT companies.
"Now, with this eviction order, investors will be worried that they too could face eviction from their premises, costing losses amounting to thousands of dollars to their businesses," he said.
Malaysiakini chief executive officer Premesh Chandran said that malaysiakini will suffer a loss of around RM100,000 as a result of this eviction notice.
"We have spent over RM30,000 in renovations. We estimate that the relocation will cost at least another RM30,000."
He said that the process of moving into another office will result in at least two weeks’ of downtime.
"The disruption to our operations will mean a loss in subscription revenue, as well as loss in confidence among our readers and subscribers. We estimate that this will set back our earnings
by a further RM40,000 at least," said Premesh.
Efforts to negotiate fail
Efforts by malaysiakini to contact PC Suria managing director Orissa and other senior managers over the past two days have been unfruitful.
"We have been referred to PC Suria’s lawyer. But efforts to contact him have also failed," said Premesh.
Malaysiakini rents the fourth floor of a five-storey office block owned by PC Suria, which occupies the ground and the third floor. While there is o_ne other tenant in the office block, two other floors are currently vacant. Malaysiakini has been renting the Bangsar Utama premises since December 2000.
Gan said that malaysiakini will fight this eviction.
"If they think that evicting us will cripple our operation, they are wrong.We urge our readers and supporters to be patient as we deal with this crisis," he added.
Last edited by jeffooi; 24-01-2003 at 03:55 PM.
1:50pm Fri Jan 24th, 2003
Umno Youth: Teach Malaysiakini a lesson
Beh Lih Yi
The police raid on independent online daily malaysiakini is "appropriate" and must serve as a "warning" to other media to be more responsible in their job, said Umno Youth.
...Quoted in yesterday's media reports, deputy chief Abdul Aziz Sheikh Fadzir said, "I felt that malaysiakini's allowing the article [sic] to be published is very dangerous to the harmony of this country.
Abdul Aziz further urged those who had read the "seditious" letter titled 'Similarities between "new Americans" and bumiputera', to lodge a police report in the nation's interest.
"We believe the media can have their press freedom and freedom of expression but they must be responsible in publishing their material and ensure it won't harm the country's interest," he said.
Abdul Aziz himself has a report lodged against him in 2000 for leading a group of Umno Youth supporters who reportedly threatened to burn down the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall. They were protesting against Suqiu's (the election appeal committee) 17-point appeal which among others called for the abolition of the distinction between bumiputera and non-bumiputera.
'Teach them a lesson'
Echoing Abdul Aziz' call, Umno Youth public welfare bureau chief Ismail Sabri Yaakob urged the police to charge malaysiakini and its editor-in-chief Steven Gan under Sedition Act "to teach them a lesson".
"Generally malaysiakini's reports have been o_ne-sided but we have kept quiet. However, we can't tolerate it anymore when they published such seditious news [sic]," Ismail was quoted as saying in a news report yesterday.
This line of 'argument' was carried on in their official website's editorial 'Malaysiakini should be taught to understand sensitivity', which said stern action should be taken against the online daily.
"Malaysiakini is not a virtual organisation. It has an office. Its editors are Malaysians and in the country. Its reporters are everywhere. They also have bank accounts in the country. So the authorities should have no problems in sniffing out their improper behaviour."
Last edited by jeffooi; 24-01-2003 at 03:56 PM.
2:16pm Fri Jan 24th, 2003
Public forum on press freedom and sedition tomorrow
A public forum o_n the impact of the Sedition Act o_n press freedom will be held tomorrow at the Bar Council auditorium in the Loke Yew building opposite Bank Pertanian (Menara Patriot).
Organised by the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) and the National Human Rights Society (Hakam), the forum will be held between 3pm and 5pm.
Among the speakers at the forum will be prominent human rights and constitutional lawyer Raja Aziz Addruse. Raja Aziz is also a former Hakam president and former Bar Council chairperson.
Other speakers include Dr Mohd Safar Hasim from Universiti Sains Malaysia’s media studies and communication, JUST executive committee member K Haridas and malaysiakini editor-in-chief Steven Gan.
* * *
Public forum: Press freedom and sedition
Time: 3-5pm, Saturday, Jan 25
Place: Bar Council Auditorium, Loke Yew building
Near Dataran Merdeka, opposite Bank Pertanian (Menara Patriot)
Entry to forum is by donation.
For further information contact Sonia Randhawa at 03-2284 0235
and Yoon Szu Mae at 03-2283 5567.
5:05pm Sun Jan 26th, 2003
Journalists, be warned: You are not immuned from 'sedition' persecution
Freedom comes with a very high price. There is no immunity for journalists. What you say, write or publish can be taken against you but whether your action constitutes sedition or not depends largely o_n the ‘goodwill’ of the judge.
This is the essence of the two-hour discussion by four prominent speakers at the forum entitled "Freedom of the media and Sedition" organised by the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) and National Human Rights Society (Hakam) in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
4:24pm Sun Jan 26th, 2003
Malaysiakini says thank you to all for their support
Overwhelming support in cash and kind have poured in for o_nline daily malaysiakini which recently experienced a series of problems with the police and Umno Youth, the young wing of the country’s leading political party.
After a police raid o_n Monday, where 19 computers were carted away for "forensic examination" over a ‘seditious’ letter published o_n the news website, malaysiakini was dealt a double blow when it was slapped with an eviction notice from its landlord PC Suria.
...Speaking at the forum "Freedom of the Media and Sedition" in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, malaysiakini editor-in-chief Steven Gan disclosed that the o_n-line daily has received RM13,000 in donations and four computers from various sectors of the public.
Three computers were donated by USJ.com webmaster Jeff Ooi, supporters Joey Tan and Chan Choon Kit. The fourth was donated by an anonymous reader.
Gan said since the eviction order o_n malaysiakini was revealed, three generous well-wishers have offered their office space so that the o_n-line daily can carry o_n publishing.
He thanked everyone for the encouragement, adding he was amazed by the support shown by the public over the website’s current predicament.
"I never thought the police action could create such a lot of sentiments. Within hours of the raid, when malaysiakini could not even tell its readers about what had happened, more than 200 people had gathered and held a candlelight vigil outside the office," he said.
"We truly appreciate all the support and malaysiakini cannot do without such support," he stressed.
...Meanwhile, Gan also introduced the malaysiakini team members to the 50-odd people who attended the forum, saying "I cannot do without the support of the team".
When relating his present crisis, he said that the mark of a good editor is someone who will publish opinions that he or she "vehemently opposes".
"Then o_nly can we say that the editor is doing his or her job. If you o_nly publish articles that reflect your own opinion, then it is no longer a newspaper but a propaganda tool," he added.
Gan said malaysiakini tried to live up to that standard by giving readers an opportunity for vibrant discussions o_n controversial issues.
"We do not have to agree to whatever we publish but it is for this very reason that we are now in this situation," he added.
9:06pm Mon Jan 27th, 2003
Police return remaining CPUs, still holding four servers
The police today returned five more central processing units (CPUs) belonging to malaysiakini, with four servers still withheld following the Jan 20 raid when 15 CPUs and the servers were carted away for "forensic examination".
The CPUs were handed over by the police at the Dang Wangi police station at 4.15pm. Investigation officer ASP Alfazny Ahmad and malaysiakini editor-in-chief Steven Gan jointly signed o_n the computer casings, witnessed by ASP Ishak Yaacob.
This is the third batch of computers to be released. Six computers were returned last Wednesday and four more the following day.
According to Gan, police will question malaysiakini chief executive officer Premesh Chandran tomorrow or the day after.