Police Raid on Malaysiakini high-handed and unjustified

Press Statement
by Ashvin Raj

(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): DAPSY strongly and unequivocally condemns the high-handed police raid on Malaysiakini's office which led to the police's removal of computers used by their journalists.

DAPSY strongly believes that there is no reasonable justification for the police to defend such a blatant heavy-handed action.

Is the police acting on the orders of Umno Youth who lodged a police report against malaysiakini over a letter which was published in the website on Jan 9? If so, what about the countless police reports made by the Opposition in the same spirit of being Malaysian citizens but were slow to act on by the police and even ignored?

The said police report which was lodged by UMNO Youth's information chief Azimi Daim at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters, claimed that the email letter titled "Similarities between 'new Americans' and bumiputera," contained seditious remarks that could create chaos in the country.

If this is true, what about in the past, when the Prime Minister has likened Suqiu to extremists and communists? Isn't this seditious? Did UMNO Youth object to the blackening of Suqiu's name? Didn't some UMNO Youth elements threaten to burn down the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall? Did the police investigate UMNO Youth then? Did the police remove UMNO Youth's office computers, then?

The editors of Malaysiakini have done the right thing in refusing to provide the identity of the writer to the police, based on journalistic privileges.

The police instead should have applied to the Courts to instruct Malaysiakini to comply with a police demand, instead of bypassing the Courts. Malaysiakini can then defend their action in an open court of law.

The police have no legal and ethical right to violate Malaysiakini's privacy by going on a fishing expedition?

DAPSY wholeheartedly supports the stand of its chief editor Steven Gan, without whom, there might not even be an alternative media to turn to in Malaysia.

The police must understand that their action against Malaysiakini has served the interest of a selfish elite and has dealt a severe blow to press freedom for the rakyat at large, by their high-handed and abusive raid on Malaysiakini's office.


* Ashvin Raj, DAPSY Assistant National Publicity Secretary