yeah right… and elephants can fly!
of course you and i not, the above is not true. utusan, umno’s mouthpiece banned? never! why it never even got show-cause letter! we all know how racist and seditious utusan had been, yet it was allowed to go on printing with nary a squeak from the homey minister, syed albar, to ‘warn’ the paper.
but syed albar choose to disturb the herald... and now….
which paper can get banned? why, of course only opposition parties paper! yep, PAS’s harakah and PKR’s suara keadilan were slapped with a ban for 3 months with immediate effect. 3 months from now? gee, what great timing… when the 3 by-election are here. ahh…. so that’s the reason huh. ain’t no surprise.
Harakah, Suara Keadilan banned 3 months
Mar 23, 09 5:43pm
The Home Ministry has suspended the organs of two opposition parties – PAS’
Harakah and PKR’s Suara Keadilan – for three months, effective immediately.
With the suspension, both newspapers will not be able to publish until the end of June, missing out on a number of crucial political events including the three by-elections on April 7.
Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar was quoted in Bernama as saying that the two newspapers were suspended because they had violated the conditions of their permits.
He said they often published articles which questioned royalty and sensationalised news that were defamatory and aimed at causing confusion and disharmony in society.
"This action does not mean the government is curbing press freedom but to preserve peace and harmony in our multi-racial society," he was quoted as saying.
pkr suara keadilan confiscate by internal ministry 110209 02Suara Keadilan editor Zulkiflee Anwar Al-Haq told Malaysiakini that no reason had been given for the ban.
He said that the letter informing the weekly newspaper of the ban was faxed to his office this afternoon. [See below]
The suspension order was addressed to PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
"We fear that this action by the government is a prelude to a general clampdown on press freedom in Malaysia," PKR information chief Tian Chua told AFP.
Previously Suara Keadilan has been asked to show cause by Home Ministry’s Publications Control and Al-Quran Texts Unit last September over a report on police chief Musa Hassan.
The ministry had also seized nearly 20,000 copies of the Feb 4-11 edition that had the frontpage headlines, ‘Perak cabar SPR ke mahkamah’ (Perak challenges EC to court).
However this latest punishment from the ministry only leaves room for speculations as to why the publication was suspended.
One possible reason could be the publication’s continuous negative reports on incoming Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak who is set to assume the top post in the first week of April.
Suara Keadilan only obtained its publishing permit a year ago, after the March 8 general election.
KDN official Che Din Yusoh who signed the suspension order could not be contacted for comment.
Harakah’s three breaches
As for Harakah, a similar suspension letter was also faxed to the party secretary general Kamaruddin Jaffar this evening.
Again no reason was given for the suspension order. However it is similarly believed that the newspaper’s continuous ‘attacks’ on Najib were the unsaid reason for the suspension.
Kamaruddin said the party would appeal against the decision.
"This is a violation of the freedom of media and a violation of a political party’s right to have its official organ published freely," he said.
"This is another sign of a new era of repressions with Najib coming into power."
It is learnt that the ministry had written a warning letter to Harakah on Feb 26, stating that the publication was breaching three conditions of publications.
* Copies of the bi-weekly newspapers were not sent to the ministry promptly,
* The publication did not comply with the publication concept as applied for a party organ, i.e. it was publishing non-party matters, and
* It was being sold to the public and not just party members.
In recent months many copies of Harakah were also seized in a few states after highlighting the power grab in Perak, with news vendors warned not to sell the fortnightly.
In 2000, the ministry had reduced the frequency of Harakah’s publication from bi-weekly to bi-monthly. The decision was reversed a year ago, after the March 8 general election.
The suspension imposed on Harakah today was the first such punishment in 22 years of publication.
DAP’s Rocket too
And in another development which is set to fuel further anger among the opposition, DAP deputy publicity chief Teo Nien Ching said the party’s Chinese edition of party organ Rocket was also having problem in renewing its annual publishing permit.
The monthly publication’s permit expired at the end of last year and the party is still waiting for the Home Ministry to approve the annual permit.
The Chinese version of Rocket is one of the oldest Chinese political newspapers in the country, with a circulation of about 40,000 to 50,000.