Why RM2.6b not probed under Section 124C, asks Ambiga

Source: Malaysiakini

Ambiga Sreenevasan - MMO file pic.

Ambiga Sreenevasan – MMO file pic.

With the spotlight now on foreign funding, former Bar Council president Ambiga Sreenevasan has demanded Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed to provide an explanation on the RM2.6 billion donation issue.

Speaking to Malaysiakini, Ambiga said it was outrageous that NGOs are being hounded over their funding when there is an admission that the RM2.6 billion in Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s accounts was used for the last general election.

“If anything, this is the direct interference in our parliamentary democracy, not the work of NGOs fighting for our democratic institutions.

“The deputy minister owes the public an explanation as to why this RM2.6 billion is not being investigated as an activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy under Section 124C of the Penal Code since, there is a spotlight on foreign funding,” Ambiga added. Read more

Justify use of ‘severe’ security law on Malaysiakini, media groups demand

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 5 ― The police needs to justify the use of a “severe” law to investigate Malaysiakini for allegedly trying to undermine parliamentary democracy by receiving foreign funds, journalist groups have said.

Gerakan Media Merdeka (Geramm) spokesman Radzi Razak said Section 124C of the Penal Code ― which comes with a hefty punishment of a mandatory jail term that can go up to 15 years ― was a severe law that cannot be used without clear justification.

“The issue on Malaysiakini’s funding has been raised for years and this newest allegation was addressed by the operators of the news portal as well.

“The police will have to let the public know why they use this Section as it is a matter of public interest,” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted yesterday. Read more

Lawyers: Vague law used against Bersih, Malaysiakini as foreign funding not a crime

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 5 ― The authorities are just using a so-called vague law to investigate electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 and media outlet Malaysiakini as receiving foreign funds by itself is not a crime, lawyers have said.

Lawyer New Sin Yew said there is no law prohibiting anyone from receiving funds from overseas, adding that this is also not barred under Section 124C of the Penal Code which is being used to probe Malaysiakini and Bersih 2.0 chair Maria Chin Abdullah.

“If there is no law against receiving funds from overseas, there is nothing for the police to enforce.

“Section 124C is vague and vague laws are prone to abuse. But even with its vague wordings, it does not prohibit receiving foreign funds. The police cannot use 124C as a catch-all and to create an offence when there is none,” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted yesterday. Read more

Suing lying politicians doesn’t protect journalists, media group tells AG

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Malaysiakini reporter Kow Gah Chie is being investigated under Section 505(c) of the Penal Code for allegedly causing public mischief. ― Picture by Kamles Kumar

KUALA LUMPUR, April 29 ― The Attorney-General’s suggestion that journalists sue politicians who lie about being misquoted does not protect the media from police investigations when they are instead accused of inaccuracy, a press freedom group said.

The Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) highlighted the case of Malaysiakini reporter Kow Gah Chie, who is being investigated under Section 505(c) of the Penal Code for allegedly causing public mischief after Sarawak Barisan Nasional (BN) politician Dr Annuar Rapaee accused the journalist of taking his speech at a recent seminar in Sibu, Sarawak, out of context.

“While CIJ welcomes the AG’s acceptance of the reality of politicians lying about being misquoted, his solution seems topsy-turvy,” CIJ director Sonia Randhawa told Malay Mail Online recently.

“The onus should be on politicians to take action against false news reports, rather than on journalists to take action against politicians. This ignores how journalists rely on politicians as news sources.

“Further, in the recent case where a politician accused a journalist of lying, the journalist faced the threat of a police investigation. The proposed solution would not protect journalists from this threat,” she added.

AG Tan Sri Apandi Ali reportedly said at a recent talk that media outlets should take legal action against politicians who falsely claim to be misquoted or who renege on their own remarks, as this would hold public figures accountable. Read more

Stop using criminal laws against journalists — Institute of Journalists Malaysia

Source: The Malay Mail Online

APRIL 29 — The Institute of Journalists Malaysia (IoJ) is deeply concerned over the Royal Malaysian Police’s (PDRM) continued use of the Sedition Act 1948 to investigate journalists for writing news reports.

The police have called in The Heat Malaysia journalist Zakiah Koya for questioning under the Act today following an article she wrote about the Citizens’ Declaration early last month.

Zakiah is being investigated for her report, “Ousting Najib by all means”, which was based on a press conference held by several prominent political leaders on March 4 this year.

We strongly condemn the use of the Sedition Act against any journalist in the line of duty. Read more

Lawyers cry police intimidation in Penal Code probe on reporter on Sarawak duty

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Lawyer Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan says the police intimidation was an ‘overkill’ and urged the police to stop their ‘bully boy tactics’. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, April 26 ― The police went overboard by investigating a journalist under the Penal Code for allegedly misquoting a Barisan Nasional (BN) politician in her report, several lawyers said.

Prominent lawyer and human rights activist Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan called the act an “overkill” and urged the police to stop their “bully boy tactics”.

“This is an overkill and wholly unnecessary. If they are unhappy about the report they can always write in to the media outlet,” she told Malay Mail Online when contacted.

She said the recent banning of opposition politicians from entering Sarawak ahead of the state elections has now spilled over to a “harassment of the press.”

“These bully boy tactics must stop,” she added. Read more