10 September, 2009

MCMC visited Malaysiakini, again !

Officers from the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) have again visited independent news portal Malaysiakini today to further investigate the “ deemed offensive” cow-head videos.

The seven-member MCMC team, which included three digital forensics experts, demanded Malaysiakini to hand over the original tapes of the two videos.

The team, led by Mohd Syukri Jamaluddin, has also sought to copy certain parts of the hard disk from two Malaysiakini computers used to edit and upload the videos.

MCMC officers also interviewed Malaysiakini cameraperson Mohd Kamal Ishak, who covered the press conference held by Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein following his controversial meeting with cow-head protesters.

This is the third time MCMC officers have visited the Malaysiakini office in Bangsar Utama, Kuala Lumpur.

The first was on last Saturday where a three-person team recorded a statement from editor-in-chief Steven Gan.

On Tuesday, eight MCMC officers interviewed the online daily's 12 staff in a marathon session lasting eight hours.

Among those questioned were Malaysiakini chief executive officer Premesh Chandran, editors, journalists, video team members and one technical staff.

Probe centres on two video clips

Except for Chandran and the technical staff, all the others were involved in the process of news gathering, editing and publishing two stories and videos related to the cow-head protest in Shah Alam on Aug 28 and the press conference by Hishammuddin on Sept 2.

They were journalists Rahmah Ghazali, Jimadie Shah Othman, Andrew Ong, cameraperson Amir Abdullah, editors K Kabilan, Nasharuddin Rahman, Fathi Aris Omar, video editors Shufiyan Shukur, Ng Kok Foong and Lydia Azizan.

The investigation by MCMC centres on two video clips published by Malaysiakini - one on the protest and the other on Hishammuddin's press conference - which were deemed offensive.

The videos cited were the 'Temple demo: Residents march with cow's head' and 'Hisham: Don't blame cow-head protesters'.

On the same day, MCMC officers have also taken a statement from Malaysiakini's server hosting company...more


Support for Mkini’s stand on the cow head-related videos

Charter 2000-Aliran hails the unwavering and principled stand taken by Malaysiakini not to pull down the two videos related to the controversial cow-head demonstration in Shah Alam recently.

Such a principled move is praiseworthy especially when the online newspaper is now under tremendous pressure from the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission to withdraw the said videos from public viewing.

This stand has great political significance for the journalists and their commitment to truth should not be allowed to be trampled upon by the powers-that-be that do not respect, let alone appreciate the fundamental values pertaining to justice, freedom of expression and the media’s responsibility to speak the truth and shame the devil.

Additionally, the MCMC’s action makes a mockery of the Prime Minister Najib Razak’s recent guarantee that there will be no censorship of the Internet.

The act of metaphorically killing the messenger is equally disturbing in that it is aimed at intimidating conscientious journalists from reporting the truth without fear or favour. Needless to say, Malaysiakini merely reported what actually took place and exposed the racist and religiously insensitive remarks and actions of certain misguided individuals who claimed to have done what they did in the name of Islam and Muslims.

To be sure, the stand taken by the news portal has wide repercussions within the journalistic fraternity as well as the civil society in Malaysia.

We urge the MCMC to desist from harassing the editorial personnel of Malaysiakini.

Dr Mustafa K Anuar & Anil Netto
Coordinators
Charter 2000

( Via “SUSAN LOONE’s DOCs* )

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