ARTICLE 19 PRESS STATEMENT – Malaysia: Cease investigations of The Star newspaper and its journalists

Source: Article 19 Facebook

ARTICLE 19 condemns the investigation of five editors and a photographer from The Star newspaper under the Sedition Act and the Penal Code for sedition and religious hate. The Star is being investigated by police for their front page of 27 May, which featured a photograph of Muslims performing their Tarawih prayer (a prayer performed during Ramadan) underneath a summary of a story which was, headlined “Malaysian Terrorist Leader”. The newspaper immediately issued a formal apology on 28 May citing an “error of judgement”.

The Home Ministry issued The Star a show-cause letter on 29 May calling for the newspaper to explain why its publication should not be suspended under the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984. This Act seriously limits independence of the media and free expression, giving broad power to the Home Minister to revoke or suspend a permit for any period he considers desirable. Criminal investigations were then opened on 30 May despite an earlier apology published by The Star and the suspension of Editor-in-Chief, Datuk Leanne Goh Lee Yen and Executive Editor, Dorairaj Nadason. Read more

Prestigious US ‘Democracy Award’ for Cynthia Gabriel of C4

Source: FMT News

Anti-corruption activist one of five worldwide to receive award from US-based National Endowment for Democracy at Capitol Hill, Washington DC, on June 7. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Anti-corruption activist Cynthia Gabriel has seen her efforts recognised by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which is based in Washington DC, the United States.

The NED will be presenting her with its 2017 Democracy Award on Wednesday, for her “courageous efforts in battling the scourge of official corruption”.

Gabriel, who is Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) executive director, left for the US yesterday to attend the award ceremony to be held at Capitol Hill.

According to the NED website she will be one of five recipients this year. The other five being Khalil Parsa (Afghanistan), Rafael Marques de Morais (Angola), Claudia Escobar (Guatemala) and Denys Bihus (Ukraine).

Malaysiakini reported that Gabriel was surprised over her selection for the award but was honoured nonetheless over the recognition for her efforts. Read more

‘Developed nation status is about accepting others, even LGBTs’

Source: FMT News

Malaysian Youth Council’s Mohammad Rizan Hassan says LGBT community is only asking for access to basic human rights, not gender equality. Pic from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: Despite Malaysia’s goal of becoming a developed nation, discussions on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community are often met with hesitation or outright rejection.

Malaysian Youth Council (MBM) information chief Mohammad Rizan Hassan said many failed to realise that members of the LGBT community were living without access to basic human rights.

Often, they are denied support for education, job opportunities and access to certain medical treatment, he said, adding that they are discriminated against and treated like “animals” despite being rightful citizens of Malaysia.

“For a country to achieve developed status, it’s not about tall buildings. It’s about a community that is accepting of one another. Read more