DAPSY calls on all Malaysians, NGOs and civil society to participate in yellow ribbon campaign to uphold press freedom

Press Statement
by Loke Siew Fook

(Petaling Jaya, Friday): DAPSY views with grave concern the manner in which the police are carrying out their investigation into the complaint by UMNO Youth of the controversial letter entitled "Similarities Between New American and Bumiputera" posted by Malaysiakini on its website.

The seizure of 19 of Malaysiakini's computers (6 of which had been returned since), the interrogation of editor-in-chief and the questioning of four other editorial staffs for almost four hours by the police seem to have been done with the aim of disrupting the operations of the virtual news provider.

DAPSY had earlier condemned the police raid on Malaysiakini as high-handed, unjustified and a blow to press freedom. We have also decided to launch a yellow ribbon campaign calling for the participation of all Malaysians, NGOs and civil society regardless of political affiliation as an expression of solidarity with Malaysiakini and to uphold the importance of press freedom.

This campaign will continue for a week where a yellow ribbon is affixed on the car antenna to symbolize press freedom. We hope that many others will join in this campaign to send a clear and unmistakable message to the government about the need to preserve open forum for healthy discussion and debate and safeguard freedom of the press, in line with the creation of a healthy, matured and developed Malaysian society.

We also urge the police to return to Malaysiakini the rest of the computers seized immediately after the completion of their investigations so that the Internet news portal can resume their operations in full gear. We further call on the police to commence prompt investigation into the many complaints of similar nature as the one lodged by UMNO Youth which have had no action taken.


* Loke Siew Fook, DAPSY National Secretary