Home Ministry’s suspension of PKR organ Suara Keadilan – sign of double-pincer movement of clampdown on dissent and triumph of hardliners and extremist screaming of Suara Perkasa?

Action speaks louder than words.

Today, the headline is: “Home Ministry suspends Suara Keadilan’s permit

But three days ago, Suara Perkasa made its debut with the screaming headline: “Arrest Ka Siong under ISA”.

This raises the question whether the suspension of Suara Keadilan heralds a new political development in the Barisan Nasional with a double-pincer movement of clampdown against dissent coupled and the triumph of hardliners like the immunity enjoyed by the extremist and rightwing Perkasa to incite communal disaffection.

The Home Ministry’s suspension of PKR organ Suara Keadilan for running foul of the Printing Presses and Publication Act (PPPA) must be deplored in the strongest possible terms as it is totally against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s pledge for a more open, tolerant, transparent and accountable system of governance.

One of the issues used for the justification for the suspension of Suara Keadilan is its coverage of Felda’s financial woes. However, as Felda has initiated RM200 million legal action against Suara Keadilan over its Felda report, this should not be the basis for any Home Ministry action.

The suspension of Suara Keadilan’s publishing permit should be revoked immediately as this is a test whether Najib is sincere and serious in wanting a more open, tolerant, transparent and accountable system of governance which is an essential prerequisite if Malaysia is to make the quantum leap to escape the middle-income trap to become a developed high-income nation with inclusiveness and sustainability.

  1. #1 by Bigjoe on Friday, 2 July 2010 - 12:59 pm

    I actually originally thought that PR can only take this issue just that far. But you know when they start to clamp down on talking about the issue, there is a lot more in it than it appear. Things must be really be screw up in Felda if they do this..

    PR is going to town with this now they know they are doing stupid things to hide something. How many copies of Keadilan circulate in Felda compared to Harakah?

  2. #2 by hurricanemax on Friday, 2 July 2010 - 4:12 pm

    yes…Home Ministry’s action do speaks louder than words, for the Opposition party. Sedih tapi Benar.

  3. #3 by rahmanwang on Friday, 2 July 2010 - 4:42 pm

    There you go.BN government wants fake/false news to be published.Any other news are forbidden.So no internet to Malaysians.

  4. #4 by Jeffrey on Friday, 2 July 2010 - 4:53 pm

    It’s all about Political Power & Money. Suara keadilan’s article hits at UMNO’s voter base- Felda settlers. Suara Perkasa’s communal rhetoric is OK because it’s promotive of ruling party’s communal ideology – Ketuanan, and therefore buttresses its voter base! That’s the difference comparing Suara keadilan’s & Suara Perkasa’s articles and why the former’s permit has to be suspended!

    Is there “a double-pincer movement of clampdown against dissent coupled and the triumph of hardliners like the immunity enjoyed by the extremist and rightwing Perkasa to incite communal disaffection”?

    No. There is not double but a triple pincer movement and you should be more worried of the third.

    Clamp down on Suara keadilan is no big shake because it’s only expected. It has been done many times before. The moment a newsprint needs to be licensed under PPPA and issued a permit one is already at the govt’s mercy. Home Ministry Affairs officials can issue, suspend or revoke license as they so desire. Their exercise of discretion against Suara keadilan may be due to whimsical interpretation of conditions of licence or the PPA or as directed by their political bosses. The basis for suspension may be justified on grounds stated in PPPA that the publication’s contents alarm public opinion or contrary to public interest.

    However what is alarming to public opinion or contrary to public interest is subjective and depends on what these officials determine is such, which mostly is outside judicial review in the sense that courts have little room to go behind to review and overrule these executive discretions. Even if the courts do try to review they may agree with the Ministry’s call on these issues.

    What is insidious and not so expected – the third pincer – is FELDA’s intended suit supported by Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Ahmad Maslan – to sue not only Suara KeAdlian but also several of PKR leaders including Anwar & Zaid Ibrahim (presumably for libel/defamation).

    What you should be worried about is they take a leaf from the “successes” of leaders of the red dot, down South of our Causeway who could sue and, bankrupt those opposition leaders whom the courts there found defaming and libeling its top leaders.

    Bankruptcy means the defendants are disqualified from being an MP…… Otherwise if PKR were to pay for the heavy damages payable by its leaders, PKR too will be bankrupt justifying the Registrar of Societies to wind it up!

    Whilst its true that whatever Keadilan Suara or its leaders say about FELDA will (as part of political contestation) enjoy defence against libel/defamation by reason of qualified privilege – in the sense that what’s published though factually may not be completely accurate, its however that actuated by malice or bad faith directed at FELDA- however who knows when this matter goes to our courts for detrmination???

    Can one safely discount this possible scenario of another pronged strategy, backdoor (like power usurpation in Perak State Assembly), to weaken the Opposition Front before next GE by suing and bankrupting its leaders???

    Against this backdrop it underscores the importance of making sure whats published in print or in words, even in political context and for purposes of political contestation, is factually accurate giving less opportunity for the opposite to launch counter attack along lines speculated above.

  5. #5 by Jeffrey on Friday, 2 July 2010 - 4:57 pm

    Typo error in 3rd para from bottom – “-its however NOT actuated by malice or bad faith directed at FELDA -“

  6. #6 by limkamput on Friday, 2 July 2010 - 5:38 pm

    Please get our bearing right. It is not who was telling the truth. It was not who seditious. It was not who has the right to sue. It was who would win in our courts. Do we not know all these already?

    PR has to some extent lost its marbles. They simply do not how to highlight pointed issues – issues that are important to ordinary Malaysians and young Malaysians. Look at HINDRAF pointed demand on scholarship. It is much more focused, punchy and relevant.

  7. #7 by voice2009 on Friday, 2 July 2010 - 8:07 pm

    Home Ministry wishing Perkasa digging a grave for BN allow Perkasa play Suara Perkasa to the extreme.

  8. #8 by Jong on Friday, 2 July 2010 - 8:26 pm

    See how fast they work – sue here sue there! When Mr & Mrs C4 were said to be involved in murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu whose immigration records were erased, the silence was deafening! Why huh?

  9. #9 by lee wee tak_ on Saturday, 3 July 2010 - 3:37 am

    well suspend all BN wants. There is a saying “siapa makan cili dia rasa pedas”; also a sign of Suara KeAdilan grasping the right issue

    I susppose Harakah can highlight the case for Suara KeAdilan and see what impact if BN administration choose to ban Tok Guru’s voice

    State governments are allowed to publish their own newspaper, I think I read somewhere in one of the blogs but I think PR are playing fair by not abusing state machinery for political party interest, salute

    Suara Perkasa? what kind of responsible, harmony government would allow this kind of maddness running around barking

    this has confirmed that Perkasa is a bedfellow with UMNO administration, complete castration of MIC and MCA, racism and hate as political currency of the present occupiers

    and the money wasted on that 1Malaysia concept…..

  10. #10 by yhsiew on Saturday, 3 July 2010 - 7:38 am

    Today, the headline is: “Home Ministry suspends Suara Keadilan’s permit”

    But three days ago, Suara Perkasa made its debut with the screaming headline: “Arrest Ka Siong under ISA”.

    This shows that

    Perkasa = UMNO
    UMNO = Perkasa

    although UMNO may deny it is related to Perkasa.

  11. #11 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 3 July 2010 - 9:21 am

    Only recently Home Ministry gave publishing licence to Suara Perkasa. Even before its 2nd issue, it has already sparked controversy by calling for MCA Youth chief Wee Ka Siong to be detained under ISA! For what? Just because Wee asked whether if the govt scrapped PSD scholarships (in line with cutting costs) it would likewise, consistent with 1 Malaysia, also do so for MARA scholarship programme??? Immediately, and perhaps in part due to Kit’s questioning why Suara keAdlian was suspended and Suara Perkasa was let off, Home Ministry has asked editor of Suara Perkasa to call in at its office to explain. What Suara KeAdilan is alleged to have violated in terms of conditions of its publication permit is the article in its last issue is its misinforming or publication of false facts about FELDA’s state of finances. Accurate or otherwise the state of FELDA’s finances is a public issue and fit and proper subject for raising within parameters of political contestation between Opposition and ruling coalition, and if Suara KeAdilan is short of facts in these respects, FELDA is already contemplating recourse of suing RM200 million for libel against the publishers and some of PKR’s leaders. In contrast Suara Perkasa’s allegations against Wee carry serious racial undertones that could have a tendency to incite racial sentiments that broadly could be argued to skate at the edge of what the Sedition Act is intended to proscribe, let alone potentially drive a wedge between MCA and UMNO, so Kit’s questioning of the apparent uneven and disproportionate punishment meted out by the authorities to Suara KeAdilan as compared to Suara Perkasa seems fair comment.

    The argument that “Perkasa = UMNO” for purposes of the former playing bad cop to canvass for continued Malay political support for UMNO whilst UMNO plays good cop to canvass for support of non Malays lost – as if Perkasa were UMNO’s creation for this dual conflicting political agenda – is unconvincing to me.

    Just because there are many UMNO members and stalwarts having vested interest in the conventional “Ketuanan” political order support Perkasa for upholding that order does not validate or prove that argument above. For there are some UMNO members and stalwarts who are also critical and wary of Perkasa who are “silent” unlike (say) Nazri/KJ.

    Of course one may speculate that these critics are putting on an act. I don’t really think so. For Perkasa’s rhetoric poses a serious challenge to UMNO’s president’s political agenda/motto/mantra of 1 Malaysia forcing him to backtrack on his NEM. Potentially it causes friction between BN’s component parties UMNO and MCA, the latter having made clear that its antics are not helping MCA at all to recover its traditional support, which is clearly not in line with UMNO’s basic objective of having MCA or for that matter other non malay based component parties there for the facade of BN’s multiracial representation or a semblance of racial harmony under UMNO’s hegemony.

    I am inclined to believe and take Perkasa’s word for it about being an NGO representing groups wishing to uphold the Malay agenda to pressure UMNO and in particular the PM to not forsake that in its efforts to reform. In fact I think if UMNO cuts so much slack, it would soon be led and dictated by Perkasa in its policies that may not exactly correspond on all fours with what it perceives is its political interest. The political will to rein in the NGO is undermined by the fact that rival contenders within the ruling party are soliciting the NGO’s support in their vying for political ascendancy within UMNO.

    As to who and which group is really behind Perkasa then if it were not UMNO (officially and unitedly) is really the million dollar question not proper to speculate here.

    Meanwhile its a serious counterweight to UMNO posing a challenge to supersede it, if the latter were not vigilant about Perkasa’s activities and perceived expanding influence.

  12. #12 by wanderer on Saturday, 3 July 2010 - 10:07 am

    Malaysians need to forgive these poorly educated goons in the Home Ministry…sadly, they were unable to differentiate between high quality, factual and truthful articles produced by neutral papers and from the Opposition than those
    rubbish produced by UMNO/coalition partners’ owned papers, especially Utusan Melayu!

  13. #13 by habis on Saturday, 3 July 2010 - 10:49 am

    The Printing Presses and Publication Act is discriminately used to stifle and suppress the opposition voice at the whims and fancies of the Home Ministry. What is seditious which by just application of the law is deemed not so in the eyes of the beholder. White can be black isthe way how you look at it if you are on the side of the govt and Perkasa can easily get away all because it it UMNO unofficial mouthpiece.We the rakyat will be the ultimate judge come 13GE and make sure that the day will surely come when we can truly have a PR govt which truly acts in the best interest and benefit to all irrespective of colour and racial origin for we are first and foremost Malaysian and nothing else.

  14. #14 by monsterball on Saturday, 3 July 2010 - 11:36 am

    Rias Yatim ..the Minister of Information…once told Malaysians to vote for democracy and freedom …when he was in Semagat45 party.
    Now look at his character.
    Yes UMNO B intends to guide Malaysians back to colonial days…band everything against the government and program the minds to hate all against them….divide Malaysians to rule.
    This very outdated British rule..is very popular with Najib’s government.
    Desperate people needs desperate measures..yet hje said he ha 72% support from Malaysians.

  15. #15 by dagen on Saturday, 3 July 2010 - 11:51 am

    Oh dear wot is new? Totally fed up. So just kick them out. Yeah kick that damned umno gobermen out. Do it for a change. Do it for the nation. Do it for something better. I mean, nothing could be worse than umno. Absolutely nothing.

    And changing the gobermen would instantly bring about another plus to all malaysians. It would bring in the two party system. Lets face it. Would we want to eat nasi lemak only day after day, or for that matter roti canai or chow mien, without any choice? Oh yes we do have a choice, politically. Except that thus long umno has been able, through abuse as well as unfair and crooked means (latest eg. HS and sibu), to ensure that the choice we have, even if exercised, will not bring about any real change.

    Fortunately, 308 tought us a new lesson; and it also gave us real hope and confidence. We now know that change is a possibility. So make it happen.

    GE13 is near. Umno is gearing for war. It is building up its election fund (with petronas dividend payout), putting its carrot dangling machinery into effect (additional allocations to bn MPs) and muzzling opposition voice (suara keadilan publication right was denied).

    So stand up fellas. All of us. Get ready for battle. In the name of “NEGARA KU” bring down umno, the enemy of the state, in GE13.

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