: The Institute of Journalists Malaysia (IoJ) in urging the Home Ministry (KDN) to lift the three-month suspension of the publishing permits of The Edge Malaysia business weekly and The Edge Financial Daily, wants the ministry to explain clearly why the dailies are suspended.
In a media statement, IoJ said rather than a vague statement of content being "prejudicial or likely to be prejudicial to public order, security or likely to alarm public opinion or is likely to be prejudicial to public and national interest", KDN must make public the reasons for the suspension in clear and precise terms.
IoJ said the authorities must furnish strong evidence that the reports in question are based on false or inaccurate information.
“While IoJ understands there are ethical and legal concerns about how the information on which the reports are based was obtained, no Malaysian laws seem to have been broken and the source of the information should be less of a concern than its implications to the current administration,” IoJ said in a statement.
Reiterating its call for the Printing Presses and Publications Act to be abolished, IoJ said the requirement for press licensing in Malaysia is counter-productive to the principle of reporting without fear or favour. READ: Three reasons for the Edge's suspension - Home Ministry
“The press plays a crucial role in holding public officials and bodies such as 1MDB to account, more so when there are serious allegations of corruption and financial mismanagement involving public funds,” IoJ said.
“The IoJ stands behind Edge Media Group publisher and chief executive officer Ho Kay Tat and all reporters, news workers, editors, and staff facing the consequences for doing their jobs,” it said in the statement.
The Home Ministry suspended the publishing permit of the two publications
for three months beginning July 27.
In a statement today, The Edge said the ministry cited the publications' reporting on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) issues as "prejudicial or likely to be prejudicial to public order, security or likely to alarm public opinion or is likely to be prejudicial to public and national interest".
The ministry also warned The Edge that failure to stop publication for three months will result in the withdrawal of the publishing permits, the KDN letter said.