Editors and Executives of Malaysian Insider are arrested

March 31, 2015

Editors and Executives of Malaysian Insider are  arrested

The Police arrested the three editors from The Malaysian Insider on Monday evening, in connection with a March 25 article about a proposal to allow the strict enforcement of Islamic law, the publication said.

“We do not think that the arrests were necessary, as they can meet the police any time to have their statements taken,” said Ho Kay Tat, publisher at The Malaysian Insider’s parent company, Edge Media Group, according to the news site. “We call on the police to release them immediately.”

Jahabar SadiqOn Tuesday, Mr. Ho was arrested, along with Jahabar Sadiq, The Malaysian Insider’s chief executive, the publication said. On the same day, a court denied a police request to continue holding the three editors, Lionel Morais, Amin Shah Iskandar and Zulkifli Sulong. The three were expected to be released Tuesday evening, according to Syahredzan Johan, a lawyer for the company.

All five men were arrested on suspicion of violating Malaysia’s Sedition Act and Communications and Multimedia Act, Mr. Johan wrote on Twitter.

Malaysia’s government has recently pursued sedition charges against outspoken politicians, scholars and other figures, an effort that critics say is meant to intimidate the country’s opposition. In mid-March, Nurul Izzah Anwar, a member of Parliament and daughter of the imprisoned Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, was arrested and accused of sedition after questioning the independence of the country’s judiciary in a speech.

The investigation of The Malaysian Insider centers on a March 25 article that described a meeting of the Conference of Rulers, a body of Malaysian sultans, reporting that they had rejected an Islamist party’s proposal that would allow strict punishments under Shariah, or Islamic law. The conference said that it had never announced such a decision and pursued legal action against The Malaysian Insider, the publication said.

The Center for Independent Journalism, based in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, and the Southeast Asian Press Alliance, based in Bangkok, called the move against the publication “an assault on media freedom and an act of intimidation in using police powers of arrests and detention.”

If the March report was found to be untrue, it could be corrected without the need for police raids and criminal investigations, the groups argued.


12 thoughts on “Editors and Executives of Malaysian Insider are arrested

  1. Malaysian authorities have gone berserk. There is freedom of expression but no freedom after expression. We are dealing with a regime which cannot take criticisms of any sort including cartoons from Zunar.–Din Merican

  2. I don’t want to get paranoid, but — personally, I wonder if TMI was set up. Meaning, someone purposely leaked a false report to them, knowing what would happen afterwards. And I agree that it is payback for all their 1MDB reporting.

  3. A good journalist will check his source and verify the story before reporting and publishing. It is naive to trust one’s source. That said, to arrest them is not acceptable. What no reaction from Journalists without Borders or The White House? Ambassador Malott, any new developments with regard to the Open Letter, which you initiated?–Din Merican

  4. This is good.

    The best way to expose / catch criminals is to get them to commit more crimes.

    You know, give a man enough rope and he will hang himself?

    And no jail is big enough to house a whole nation.

  5. Its highly intriguing that MI will go ahead and publish an article like that without 1st verification on the validity of the report,unless of course,either they have high level of confidence in the reliability of whoever /wherever the source of the report is from or they have been sabotaged and set up by being fed mis-information.
    Somehow MI doesn’t come off as a cheap tabloid style of news reporting,and has an impression of a well credentialed media organization.
    .And not the sort who intentionally conjures up a news like this ,especially when it involves the Royals and tying them to the highly sensitive religious nature of the topic.,a combustible combination that will prompt any journo to thread with extreme caution,even if the facts are 100 percent verifiable.
    No sensible editor will green light a news like that without checking and double verification before publishing.
    They -the editors – for sure will have more common sense than that..There may be another dimension to it all that the public doesn’t know about?

  6. It seems very likely related to their 1MDB coverage. Especially since the previous plan to entrap Tong Kooi Ong on Ringgit shorting fell spectacularly flat.

    The powers that be are playing the Politics of Fear threatening anyone & everyone who dare brook opposition. And to think that the real billion dollar robber barons are walking around scot free.

  7. I disagree its an attack on freedom of expression – its an attack on dissent and the truth..Its much more likely someone trapped them with the false news in order to have them arrested.

  8. While the contents of the report might have been inaccurate due to factors that might be beyond their control, but appeared to have been reported truthfully. They had not shown any element of the intention to instigate violence or chaos, or cause sufferings, or displacing millions and killing of hundreds thousands of innocent people like the consequence of USA lying to UN about WMD to go to wars in Iraq in the early 2000.

    No damaging incidents are recorded. Only damage done is the disrepute of the authorities, the Umno Baru government-of-the-day, the waning trust and confidence of the people and in the eyes of the world, particularly the media, here and oversea.

    The two, Mr. Ho was arrested, along with Mr. Jahabar Sadiq, should first be given a chance to explain themselves or apologize if a genuine mistakes had been made, before being detained.

    Sedition Act should be respected for what in intended and stand for.

    The Home Minister is responsible for all police action. Now, it is brought to his attentions to these arrest and the countless that had been made in the name of the Sedition Act, in recent weeks, has been applied, used or (ab) / misused selectively, apparently under its guise to silent or obstruct the free flow of people’s expressions (whether from oppositions, media and the public )which are neither violent or extreme or seditious in nature.

    Are the authorities mocking and poking fun at the Sedition Act, ?
    the law makers and the parliament together, that made it ?
    ..and that, if allowed to prevail would eventually become ineffective to protect the people that it (Sedition Act) is supposed to do?

    The HM and the PM who are ultimately responsible need to clarify and explain to the people and the world.

  9. Deliberations at the Conference of Rulers (COR) are highly confidential and as such MI should have double checked the veracity of the information obtained before publishing it.

    Even if the information were to be true COR’s Keeper of the Seal, I suspect, would still lodge a police report because the target they are going for may not so much be the MI but any possible insider who may be in the know of all the happenings at COR sittings and passing information to external parties.

    Another take would be that this could be a well choreographed plot (with information that is made to look authentic) to get at MI for their longstanding anti-BN and Pro-Opposition stance. If this is the case, MI should consider naming its source to the public, if not the investigators.

  10. “bryanbb”, I have been thinking along the same lines as you.

    The Malaysian Insider’s editors are not greenhorns, nor tabloid-heroes. Despite the very tempting glory of scooping other news-sites, they must surely have given ample thought to verifying the story, double-checking the source and looking for corroboration. Especially so given the current political climate and the already-demonstrated readiness of the police to arrest folks.

    Were they naive to trust the source? Was the source someone so special that TMI was willing to take the massive risk of publishing the story on just one person’s information? Were there more sources involved, and some measure of corroboration (since proven untrue) found?

    There are some in TMI who would be able to shed light on these questions, if they were in a position to do so. And the answers should be mighty interesting, perhaps pointing directly at some trap sprung in the interest of certain parties. But I’d say that chances are we will not be told the answers.

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