Category Archives: Media

Muzzling the Internet (Update 2): Malaysia censors blog after poor poll results

Financial Times, UK
By John Burton in Singapore

Published: August 29 2008 03:00 | Last updated: August 29 2008 03:00

Malaysia’s leading political blog was being blocked yesterday in what was seen as a crackdown on internet websites credited with contributing to government losses in this year’s general election.

The move came as former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim was being sworn in as the new opposition leader following a by-election victory this week that returned him to parliament for the first time in a decade.

Mr Anwar vowed to mount a no-confidence vote against the government by midSeptember.

The Malaysia Today website was blocked by state-owned Telekom Malaysia, the country’s leading internet service provider, on the orders of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, which said comments posted on it were “insensitive, bordering on incitement”.

The MCMC action represents an apparent reversal of government promises not to censor the internet, except for pornographic websites. The policy was introduced in the 1990s to encourage foreign investment in the showcase Multimedia Super Corridor, near Kuala Lumpur. [more]


Muzzling the Internet: ISPs ordered to cut access to Malaysia Today website

The Star on Line


PETALING JAYA: All 21 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the country have been ordered by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to block the controversial Malaysia Today website, an industry source revealed.

The notices were sent out on Tuesday in accordance with Section 263 of the Communications and Multimedia Act.

“This means that MCMC is allowed to block any particular website which has committed acts that contravene the local laws of the country, for example, sedition,” the source said.

Meanwhile, Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamaruddin lashed out against the blocking of the online portal, saying it was a breach of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) charter. [more]

Constant Media Bashing Might Have Prompted Aggression In Supporters – Anwar

BUKIT MERTAJAM, Aug 17 (Bernama) — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s constant bashing of the mainstream media during political campaigns might have aggravated his supporters into behaving aggressively against media personnel.

Admitting that this might have been the reason which led his supporters to turn unruly towards the media, the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) adviser said:

“I agree…I will do (the explanation to the public that the attack was only on media policies and not on media personnel) from tonight.

“It is never our intention to question or harm reporters or (members of) the media.”

Speaking at a press conference at the PKR media centre in Yayasan Aman, Kubang Semang near here today, Anwar said his criticism of the mainstream media “should not be construed as personal attacks” against media personnel but the policy of the (their) companies.

“You are right to question (me) to remind our friends and supporters, (but) our position is that we don’t want unbiased, malicious and vicious (reporting) in the midst of election,” he said in response to questions on yesterday’s attack of two media photographers, including a foreign photographer, by a group of men wearing vests and t-shirts with the party emblem on it. [more]

PRESS STATEMENT – Medical report demonstrates Anwar Ibrahim’s innocence


The medical report leaked today appears to confirm what we have always believed – that the allegations against Anwar Ibrahim are without merit and politically motivated.

We are deeply troubled by the allegations conveyed by some reports that the police spent three days recording a statement from the Doctor and that he and his family have gone into hiding. Every assurance must be given for his safety and protection.

The existence of this medical report further erodes any confidence the public would have in the credibility of the police report that has been filed against Anwar Ibrahim, a report which remains shrouded in secrecy. Why has this medical report has surfaced only today, over one month after the allegations were made, after Anwar Ibrahim spent a night in jail, and after the police have spent so much time and money on this case?

There should be a complete disclosure of the “facts” of this case to the public. Anything less will further diminish the public’s trust in the institutions of governance and in particular the integrity of the office of the Inspector General of the Police.

Like all Malaysians we will be observing developments in this case with cautious optimism – hopefully the nation can put this ugly chapter in its history in the past and move forward.

PKR is committed to moving ahead with its coalition partners DAP and PAS to forge a new economic agenda, address the serious concerns Malaysians have over rising prices, unemployment and rising crime.

With the imminent by-election of Anwar Ibrahim to return him to a seat in Parliament for the first time in 10 years the prospects for change in Malaysia are stronger than ever.


Commentary from the Wall Street Journal: It’s Déjà Vu for Malaysia’s Opposition Leader

July 26, 2008

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

“I was dumped into this high-security police lockup for, you see, these high-level criminals. . . . On the cement floor, without any mattresses. That explains why I have to be back on this.” Anwar Ibrahim gingerly peels up his shirt to reveal a corset-like back brace. And then he bursts into laughter.

[The Weekend Interview]
Ismael Roldan

For a man released from a night in jail only a few days earlier, Mr. Anwar is an awfully jolly man. Malaysia’s opposition leader has been accused of sodomy by a former aide — a criminal offense in this Muslim-majority country that could send him to jail for up to two decades. It’s a bizarre déjà vu for the bespectacled politician, who spent 1998-2004 behind bars on a trumped-up sodomy charge the last time he challenged for political power.

But he’s pushing ahead: On Wednesday, Mr. Anwar vowed to run for parliament “imminently” in a by-election, with the aim of toppling the government by September. If he’s successful, he could be the next prime minister of Malaysia.

None of this would matter much outside Southeast Asia were it not for the fact that Mr. Anwar’s political coalition espouses something unusual in the Muslim world: the virtues of a secular, free-market democracy. More Muslims live in Asia — Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh — than in the Middle East.

Mr. Anwar is unusually suited to bridge East-West divides. A Muslim, “though never typically very religious,” he chuckles, he is a good friend of Saudi Arabia and the U.S. alike — a man who memorized “hundreds of Elvis Presley, Paul Anka and Ricky Nelson tunes” in his youth, but also attended weekend religious classes and, in his 20s, founded the Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia. He has never been afraid to argue that democracy and Islam are compatible forces — or to make that case to undemocratic Arab regimes.

In many ways, Malaysia — though it sports big urban centers and modern wonders like the Petronas Towers — seems stuck in a time warp. The media is largely state-controlled, and the executive branch still locks up political dissidents without trial under the British colonial-era Internal Security Act. [More]

Please click here to read the remainder of the article from the Wall Street Journal.

Crisis Group Board Members Condemn Arrest of Anwar Ibrahim

Brussels, 25 July 2008: We the undersigned members of the Board of the International Crisis Group condemn the arrest of our fellow Board member, Anwar Ibrahim, former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Anwar Ibrahim was arrested outside his home in Kuala Lumpur on 16 July 2008 on charges that are obviously politically motivated, relating to his position as an opposition leader. Though released on bail the following day, the allegations against him remain and are clearly a deliberate attempt to smear him.
We call on the Malaysian government to drop the charges against Anwar Ibrahim and for its leaders not to improperly use the police and judiciary for their partisan purposes.

Lord Patten of Barnes
Co-Chair, Crisis Group; Former European Commissioner for External Relations

Ambassador Thomas R Pickering
Co-Chair, Crisis Group; Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Russia, India, Israel, Jordan, El Salvador and Nigeria

Gareth Evans
President & CEO, Crisis Group; Former Foreign Minister of Australia

Morton Abramowitz
Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State and Ambassador to Turkey

Adnan Abu-Odeh
Former Political Adviser to King Abdullah II and to King Hussein, and Jordan Permanent Representative to the UN

Louise Arbour
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; Former Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda

Paddy Ashdown
Former High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina; Former Leader of the Liberal Democrats, UK

Shlomo Ben-Ami
Former Foreign Minister of Israel

Emma Bonino
Former Minister of International Trade and European Affairs, Italy; Former European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid

Maria Livanos Cattaui
Member of the Board of Directors, Petroplus Holding AG, Switzerland; former Secretary-General, International Chamber of Commerce

Naresh Chandra
Former Indian Cabinet Secretary and Ambassador of India to the U.S.

Pat Cox
Former President of European Parliament

Uffe Ellemann-Jensen
Former Foreign Minister of Denmark

Joschka Fischer
Former Foreign Minister of Germany

Leslie H. Gelb
President Emeritus of Council on Foreign Relations, U.S.

Carla Hills
Former Secretary of Housing and U.S. Trade Representative

Lena Hjelm-Wallén
Former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden

Ricardo Lagos
Former President of Chile

Joanne Leedom-Ackerman
Novelist and journalist, U.S.;
former International Secretary of International PEN

Moisés Naím
Editor-in-chief, Foreign Policy magazine; Former Minister of Trade and Industry, Venezuela

Ayo Obe
Legal Practitioner, Nigeria

Pär Stenbäck
Former Foreign Minister of Finland



Contacts: Andrew Stroehlein (Brussels) +32 (0) 2 541 1635
Kimberly Abbott (Washington) +1 202 785 1601

To contact Crisis Group media please click here

Please click here to read the original post by International Crisis Group.

Anwar alleges blood forcibly taken in 1998

Abdul Gani Patail

Abdul Gani Patail

Musa Hasan
Musa Hasan

PUTRJAYA – THE infamous mattress of the 1998 sodomy trial was brought up again on Monday when Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim alleged that his blood was forcibly extracted and smeared on it.

He fingered Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan, who was then the investigating officer, for rrdering police to smear the mattress with his blood, the New Straits Times reported on Tuesday.

The Parti Keadilan Rakyat de facto leader said his evidence on the allegation was a statement made under oath by a forensic doctor during the trial.

Mr Anwar submitted the statement, along with other court documents and statutory declarations from his 1998 sodomy trial, to the Anti-Corruption Agency on Monday to back his claim that Musa and Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail had fabricated evidence against him.

‘I adduced further evidence on how blood was forcibly taken and then spread on the mattress, claimed that it was sperm, and when it was challenged by international experts, they finally withdrew that and amended the charge and the record was expunged,’ he said after a three-and-a-half hour session with the ACA on Monday.

‘There was evidence by the forensic doctor during the first trial where blood was taken without permission, and this was a statement under oath in court, that the police took it without permission,’ Mr Anwar said. […]

Mr Anwar also said he was ‘saddened’ by the Kuala Lumpur Hospital director’s statement denying that the hospital had forced him to strip naked for his medical check after his arrest last Wednesday.

‘I did not say I was forced. But I had to strip naked because they said it was part of the investigations, and my private parts were examined. I had to concede, or otherwise, some of the local media will say that I am not cooperating,’ he explained.

He said he filled up a form meant for rape victims before the medical check because he had not seen the police report.

Please click here to read the whole article.