Punish errant publications but don’t shut them down, says Guan Eng


Source: The Star Online

GEORGE TOWN: Nanyang Siang Pau should not be closed since it has apologised and retracted a caricature that allegedly mocked two political leaders, said Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

“Publications should be given chances to admit their mistakes, be punished but not to the extent of closing them down,” he told a press conference in Komtar yesterday.

Some quarters are asking that Nanyang Siang Pau be closed after the Chinese daily published a cartoon depicting PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia as monkeys.

Titled ‘Monkey Act’, the cartoon featured two monkeys sitting on a tree named ‘Act 355’ while a group of other monkeys fight under it.

On the tree, one monkey dons a songkok labelled ‘Speaker’ while the other has a turban and is labelled ‘Hadi Awang’.

The cartoon was published in the newspaper two days after Hadi tabled the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act or RUU355 in Parliament on April 6.

The Chinese daily later issued an apology, and the cartoon has been removed from its online portal eNanyang.

The Home Ministry has issued a show cause letter to Nanyang Siang Pau over the issue.

The April 11 letter was issued under the Printing Presses and Publication Act 1964, said secretary-general Datuk Seri Alwi Ibrahim.

“The editor has been given three days to reply, and any further action will be taken in accordance with the regulations,” he said.