Last Updated: Friday, 26 December 2014, 13:50 GMT

Attacks on the Press in 1996 - Malaysia

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date February 1997
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 1996 - Malaysia, February 1997, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/47c5650b23.html [accessed 26 December 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

January 2
Patrick Teoh, Radio 4, CENSORED
Radio 4, CENSORED

The Radio 4 talk show program "Rhythm of the Nation" was taken off the air after Teoh, its host, discussed a case of alleged police bribery with a caller. After hearing Teoh's on-air comments, the head of the federal traffic-police agency lodged a complaint against him in Kuala Lumpur on Jan. 6, alleging defamation. Teoh's radio program remained off the air while police investigated the complaint.

May 6
Nasiruddin Ali, Karya One, IMPRISONED

Nasiruddin, a director of the publishing firm Karya One, which published four magazines linked to the banned Islamic movement al-Arqam - Tatih, O.K!, Ayu, and Dunia Baru - was arrested and imprisoned, at the Kemunting Detention Center in Perak. The magazines were suspended on June 4. Authorities detained Ali for the 60-day period allowed under section 73(1) of the Internal Security Act (ISA), then on July 7 invoked section 8 of the ISA, which allows up to two years' imprisonment without trial. The charges against Nasiruddin have not been made public. However, the pro-government daily New Straits Times reported in May that Nasiruddin had been arrested along with three other Al-Arqam members for attempting to revive the activities of the sect, which the government banned in 1994 for allegedly deviating from true Islamic teachings.

June 4
Tatih, CENSORED
O.K!, CENSORED
Ayu, CENSORED
Dunia Baru, CENSORED

Tamrin Ghafar, the publisher of Tatih, O.K!, Ayu, and Dunia Baru, all of which are magazines linked to the banned al-Arqam Islamic movement, suspended publication of the four magazines for an indefinite period. Tamrin acted after the government renewed its crackdown on the al-Arqam movement. Fourteen former members of Al-Arqam have been arrested under Section 8 of the Internal Security Act, which allows up to two years' imprisonment without trial.

November 9
Sonny Inbaraj, The Nation, IMPRISONED, LEGAL ACTION
Roger Mitton, Asiaweek, IMPRISONED, LEGAL ACTION
Catherine McGrath, Australian Broadcasting Corp., IMPRISONED, LEGAL ACTION
Mohamed Raslan, Night and Day, IMPRISONED, LEGAL ACTION
Jaqueline Ann Surin, The Star, IMPRISONED, LEGAL ACTION
Steve Gan, The Sun, IMPRISONED, LEGAL ACTION
Premesh Chandran, The Sun, IMPRISONED, LEGAL ACTION
Sheryll Stothard, The Sun, IMPRISONED, LEGAL ACTION
Sharaad Khuttan, Free-lancer, IMPRISONED, LEGAL ACTION
Debbie Stothard, Free-lancer, IMPRISONED, LEGAL ACTION

Ten journalists - Inbaraj, a reporter for The Nation of Bangkok; Mitton, a Malaysia-based correspondent for Asiaweek; McGrath, a Singapore-based correspondent for the Australian Broadcasting Corp.; Raslan, a correspondent for Night and Day of Kuala Lumpur; Surin, a correspondent for The Star of Kuala Lumpur; Gan, Chandran, and Sheryll Stothard of Kuala Lumpur's The Sun; and free-lancers Khuttan and Debbie Stothard - were arrested and detained in Kuala Lumpur 27 hours or longer. They were charged under Section 27A(1c) of the Malaysian Police Act with illegal assembly and refusing to disperse. If convicted, they face a fine of 2, 000-10, 000 ringgits (US$800-US$4, 000) and/or a one-year prison term. Police also arrested 48 local participants in the Second Asia Pacific Conference on East Timor (APCET II), held in Kuala Lumpur. The arrests occurred after 200 members of the youth wing of the ruling United Malays National Organization (UMNO) stormed the conference room, destroying property and threatening conference participants. Before the conference Deputy Home Affairs Minister Datuk Megat Junid Megat Ayob summoned senior local media officials to a closed-door meeting Nov. 6 and attempted to discourage them from covering APCET II. CPJ condemned the arrests and called on the government to drop all charges against the journalists.

Copyright notice: © Committee to Protect Journalists. All rights reserved. Articles may be reproduced only with permission from CPJ.

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