Friday, September 12, 2008

What the politicians say...

MCA shocked by arrest of reporter and not perpetrator
13 Sept, 2008

PETALING JAYA: The MCA has expressed shock that former Bukit Bendera Umno division chairman Datuk Ahmad Ismail, who made racist remarks has not been taken to task but reporter Tan Hoon Cheng, who wrote about the incident, has been arrested instead.

The perpetrator who vowed to conduct a nationwide roadshow on his remarks without any remorse is still at large,” MCA vice-president Datuk Ong Tee Keat said in a statement yesterday.

He said anybody in his right mind would certainly be stunned by such an arrest targeted at the reporter and not the perpetrator.

MCA vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Fong Chan Onn said he disagreed with the use of the ISA on Tan.

“As a reporter, Tan was only carrying out duties assigned to her. Her story had gone through the due editorial process before it was printed,” he said.

Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the arrest of Raja Petra Kamaruddin was judicious because he ridiculed Islam in his postings which could spark fury among Muslims.

Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, meanwhile, urged the Government to bring Raja Petra to trial in court under existing laws.

“This is consistent with Gerakan’s stand that the ISA should be reviewed, if not repealed,” Dr Koh said in a statement.

Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim condemned Raja Petra’s arrest and called for his immediate release.

“Raja Petra should be given access to proper legal counsel, and his wife and children should not be denied an opportunity to visit him while he is held captive,” he said in a statement.

DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang called for Raja Petra’s release as there was no justification for his detention. He said Raja Petra should be charged in court if he had infringed the law, and not held in detention without trial.

- The Star

Invoking ISA is not the solution, says Koh

KUALA TERENGGANU: Former Bukit Bendera Umno division chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail may have an unlikely advocate on the question of whether he should be dealt with under the Internal Security Act for allegedly making racially sensitive statements in the run-up to the Permatang Pauh by-election.

And that person is Gerakan acting president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon himself, the man he has been feuding with.

Koh said the party had always supported the due process of law despite suggestions that the ISA be applied in this case.

"Out of anger and disgust, some of our leaders have called for the use of the most stringent law.

"But I agree with Rais that we should proceed with the Sedition Act and other laws first," he said, referring to Umno supreme council member Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim's statement on the subject.

Rais had stated on Thursday that Ahmad should not be detained under the ISA and hoped his case would go through the normal process of law.

Koh, who was speaking after the Terengganu Gerakan delegates conference yesterday, said it was up to the police to study the content of Ahmad's speech on Aug 23. Ahmad was alleged to have said that the Chinese in Malaysia were squatters.

On Umno-Gerakan ties in Penang, which were severed following Ahmad's recent press conference where his supporters tore up and stepped on Koh's photograph, he said members of his party were still angry over the incident.

"It will take some time for us to review and resume... but like any relationship, it takes two.

"It's akin to quarrelling with your brother and that depends what you and he do," he said.

On a Barisan Nasional code of ethics and conduct proposed by his party, Koh said it was to ensure a clear understanding among all component parties about sensitive issues and how they should be handled.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi stated on Tuesday that the BN supreme council had agreed to the proposal.

- nst

Teresa Kok held over 'azan' issue

KUALA LUMPUR: Seputeh member of parliament Teresa Kok has been detained under the Internal Security Act last night.

The detention was confirmed by Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar.

Although it is unclear at press time where she was being detained, Kok was last seen attending the China Guangdong-Malaysia business conference dinner at a hotel here.

She was said to have been detained while travelling back home from the function. Three police patrol vehicles blocked her vehicle's path and she was detained.

It is understood that the DAP stalwart was detained for allegedly telling mosque officials in Kota Damansara, Sri Serdang and Puchong Jaya to tone down the call to prayer.

She had denied the allegations, which first came to light in a Bahasa Malaysia daily.

In George Town, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said Kok was detained at 11.18pm.

He said the party would be doing everything possible to get Kok, who is also Kinrara assemblyman and a senior executive council member in Selangor, out of detention.

Lim said the party would convene an emergency central committee meeting later today to discuss the matter.

Meanwhile, DAP publicity chief Tony Pua called on all DAP members and supporters to stay calm.

He said a party legal bureau team headed by its chief, Ngeh Koo Ham, would be looking into all possibilities in order to get Kok released.

He said the team would most likely also include party chairman Karpal Singh and his son, Gobind.

- nst

Why Raja Petra, Tan and Kok were detained

(The Star) PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Today news portal editor Raja Petra Kamarudin was arrested under the Internal Security Act for allegedly being a threat to security, peace and public order.

Raja Petra, 58, who was arrested under Section 73(1) of the ISA, is alleged to have posted articles deemed seditious and that also belittle Islam.

Last week, the Department of Islamic Development (Jakim) and several Muslim organisations lodged a police report against him for allegedly insulting Malays, Muslims and Islam.

On Sept 6, under The Corridors of Power article posted on Malaysia Today, Raja Petra had hinted that it might be his last article until Sept 16, if he were to be detained under the ISA. He is banking on Anwar’s Sept 16 promise for an early release from ISA.

“Yes, I too have placed not only my money, but also my freedom on Anwar. And if Anwar fails to deliver his promise on Sept 16, not only he but I as well am headed for a fall,” he said in his posting.

Raja Petra, founder of the controversial news portal, was charged in the Sessions Court on Aug 15 on three counts of criminal defamation over his statutory declaration on the murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Sin Chew Daily reporter Tan Hoon Cheng is believed to have been arrested over her report on former Bukit Bendera Umno division chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail’s racist remarks while campaigning for the Permatang Pauh by-election last month.

Tan, 32, is an award-winning journalist with nine years of experience. She is a Mass Communication graduate from Universiti Sains Malaysia.

DAP’s Seputeh MP Teresa Kok is also assemblyman for Kinrara and a senior executive councillor in charge of investment, industry and trade.

Kok, 43, is believed to have been picked up in connection with a residents petition in Puchong over a mosque.

Former mentri besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo had allegedly accused Kok of being involved.

She subsequently denied the allegation and demanded an apology from Dr Mohd Khir and the newspaper which reported it.

Abdullah: Govt means business

PUTRAJAYA: The government made a thorough evaluation before invoking the Internal Security Act against blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, speaking on the blogger's arrest yesterday, said the government always meant business when dealing with potential threats to the country's stability.

He said the move was made after Raja Petra had been given time to correct the offensive postings on his Malaysia Today website.

"The government always means business. We don't joke around," Abdullah said after a Khazanah Nasional board meeting at the Finance Ministry yesterday.

"The government has a degree of tolerance and we consider whether action should be taken immediately or a particular issue should be further studied to consider its repercussions and effects on society."

"It (invoking the ISA) is not done without a concrete reason and a belief that stability and public order could be threatened."

He said Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar, who was responsible for signing the detention order, had been closely monitoring Raja Petra's writings and actions.

"In making sure that public order is not affected by his (Raja Petra's) actions, Syed Hamid decided to allow the police to detain the blogger for 60 days pending investigations.

"After 60 days, if there is nothing (to implicate him), he will be freed. Otherwise, he will be further detained under the orders of the home minister."

- nst

Saturday September 13, 2008 MYT 2:58:16 PM

Release reporter, urges Samy Vellu

KUALA LUMPUR: MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu on Saturday appealed to the Government to release Sin Chew Daily News reporter Tan Hoon Cheng who was arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA) on Friday.

In a statement Saturday, he said he would ask Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar to immediately release Tan.

He said by doing so certain elements will not blame the Government for curtailing press freedom.

Samy Vellu added that Tan is a young reporter and only reported what was said. Therefore he appealed to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to release her.

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