Last Updated: Thursday, 24 July 2014, 13:56 GMT

Attacks on the Press in 2007 - Snapshots: Malaysia

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date February 2008
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 2007 - Snapshots: Malaysia, February 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/47c5679430.html [accessed 25 July 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.

Police interrogated popular Internet-based writer Raja Petra Kamarudin, founder of the Malaysia Today news Web site, for eight hours on July 25. United Malays National Organization officials said the site had published material the government perceived as an insult to Islam and an attempt to stir racial tensions. Raja Petra said police questioned him not about the articles he had written but about reader comments posted on his site. "The bottom line is, what you post in the comments section may get me sent to jail under the Sedition Act," the journalist wrote to his readers.

On August 24, the government ordered the monthlong closure of Makkal Osai, a Tamil-language newspaper, for publishing a picture of Jesus holding a cigarette and what appeared to be a can of beer. The Internal Security Ministry suspended the paper's publication permit after the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), a predominantly Hindu Tamil political party that is part of the ruling coalition, called for strong action against the paper. Makkal Osai had been critical in its coverage of the MIC, which owns a rival paper. Makkal Osai published the illustration on August 21, as part of the daily's regular "Thought for the Day" feature, which highlights famous quotations from world leaders and philosophers. The accompanying quote read: "If someone repents for his mistakes, then heaven awaits him." The newspaper said that it had printed the illustration mistakenly, and it published a front-page apology the next day.

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