Update: Three regional groups expressed concern about investigations on mkini

The Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA), Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) and the Philippines based Center for Media Freedom and
Responsibility (CMFR)
has written to the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) about its interrogations of malaysiakini. 

 


 

Mr. Mohd Sharil Tarmizi
Chief Operating Officer
Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission
63000 Cyberjaya
Selangor

Dear Sir:

The
Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) is deeply concerned over an
ongoing investigation by the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia
Commission (MCMC) into the editorial coverage and prerogatives
exercised by Malaysiakini.com over the past week. In particular, SEAPA
is disturbed by what can be construed as harassment of Malaysiakini
editors and staff members over its reportage on the so-called "cow's
head protest" in Shah Alam on 28 August and the subsequent press
conference by Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein on 2 September.

The MCMC on 3 September asked Malaysiakini to take down two news
videos of the above-mentioned events from its website, even as the same
agency accused the news site of violating the Communication and
Multimedia Act (CMA) 1998.

SEAPA has seen the videos, Malaysiakini's coverage and the
circumstances surrounding the same, and we have come to the conclusion
that Malaysiakini has done nothing more than cover two legitimate news
events.

Given this, asking Malaysiakini to take down the said news videos from
its website, and then subjecting its members—from the chief executive
officer to the editors to the technicians—to a marathon grilling are
blatant forms of harassment, hence an infrigement on freedom of
expression and of the press.

SEAPA calls on the MCMC to cease in its questioning of Malaysiakini
editors, and to desist from any further pressures that would violate
Malaysiakini's rights and prerogatives to cover events and the news as
they see fit.

Sincerely,

Mr. Roby Alampay
Executive Director
Southeast Asian Press Alliance
Bangkok, Thailand
(662) 243-5579
www.seapa.org
seapa@seapa.org

 

 


 

Mr. Mohd Sharil Tarmizi

Chief Operating Officer

Malaysian Communications and
Multimedia Commission

63000 Cyberjaya

Selangor

Fax: +603-8688-1000 / +603-8688-1009

E-mail: mazlina.dzulfakar@cmc.gov.my

 

 

Dear Sir:

 

The Center for Media Freedom and
Responsibility (CMFR), a Philippine-based non-governmental organization
involved in the protection and advancement of press freedom, is deeply
concerned about the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission’s (MCMC)
investigation into the editorial operations of Malaysiakini.com.

 

CMFR is especially alarmed by the
harassment of Malaysiakini editors and staff members in the wake of its
reporting on the so-called "cow's head protest" in Shah Alam on 28
August and the subsequent press conference by Home Minister Hishammuddin
Hussein on 2 September.

 

CMFR believes that the MCMC’s order
for Malaysiakini to remove two news videos on the above-mentioned events from
its website, and the accusation that the news site violated the Communication
and Multimedia Act (CMA) 1998 are unwarranted.
Malaysiakini merely covered two news events as mandated by generally
accepted editorial practice and standards.

 

MCMC’s order for Malaysiakini to
take down the said news videos from its website and the lengthy interrogations
of the news agency’s members constitute harassment and thus infringe on freedom
of expression and freedom of the press.

 

CMFR calls on the MCMC to stop the
harassment of Malaysiakini and its editors so it may continue to fulfill its
mandate as a news organization of delivering the news to a public that needs
information on the events that affect it.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

MELINDA DE JESUS

Executive
Director

CMFR

 


 

September 14, 2009

Mr. Mohd Sharil Tarmizi
Chief Operating Officer
Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission
63000 Cyberjaya
Selangor
Fax: +603-8688-1000 / +603-8688-1009
E-mail: mazlina.dzulfakar@cmc.gov.my

Dear Sir:

The Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) calls on the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to stop its intimidating tactics and harassment of Malaysiakini editors and staff members on the so-called “cows’s head protest” in Shah Alam late last month and the subsequent press conference by Home Minister Hishmmuddin Hussein on 2 September.

PINA joins the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) in condemning MCMC’s actions against Malaysiakini.

SEAPA has seen the videos, Malaysiakini's coverage and reviewed the circumstances surrounding the same, and SEAPA has come to the conclusion that Malaysiakini has done nothing more than cover two legitimate news events.

PINA calls on the MCMC to cease its questioning of Malaysiakini editors, and to desist from any further pressure that would violate Malaysiakini's rights to cover events and the news as they see fit.

Sincerely,

 

Mr. Matai Akauola

Manager & Training Coordinator

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA)

O: (679) 3303 623

F: (679) 3317055

http://www.pina.com.fj

 

PINA promotes and defends freedom of expression and information, develops professional standards through training and education and fosters professional fellowship and cooperation.

 

PINA is an IFEX Council Member

cc: Malaysiakini.com
Centre for Independent Journalism