Government closes opposition newspaper "Suara Keadilan"
The Home Ministry says it won't renew the permit for "Suara Keadilan", after a report in the paper which claimed a government agency had gone bankrupt.
Keadilan MP Tian Chua says it's an unacceptable assault on press freedom.
"The ban just reflects the intolerance and the repressive nature of the ruling regime. It is something that has been going on quite a while, where relations - press freedoms is one of the worst in Asia, and the fact that they are banning the major opposition's newspaper is again proving that the government has no respect for press freedom."
The Home Ministry, which oversees Malaysia's newspapers, said it will not renew Suara Keadilan's permit -- which expired on Wednesday -- as it was not satisfied with the paper's explanation for the allegedly inaccurate report.
"A letter will be issued to inform the printer that it is not allowed to print until a decision is made on the renewal of its permit," the ministry said in a statement posted on its website late Thursday. The opposition vowed to defy the ban.
Malaysia's mainstream media is largely government-linked, and the opposition relies on its own press, as well as Internet news sites and blogs, to communicate with the public.
Reporters Without Borders ranks Malaysia 131 out of 175 on its worldwide press freedom index last year, and says the mainstream media is "often compelled to ignore or to play down the many events organised by the opposition".