Archive for January 15th, 2011

Utusan suspends senior reporter pending inquiry

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal and Melissa Chi
The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 15 — Utusan Malaysia has gone ahead and suspended senior reporter Hata Wahari pending an inquiry for being highly critical of the Umno-owned daily’s opinion pieces.

It is understood that the suspension will officially take effect this coming Monday, January 17 which is the first day of the domestic inquiry.

“After taking into consideration the seriousness of misconduct allegations against you, the company has decided to suspend your service effective January 17, 2011 until the domestic inquiry on your actions has been completed,” said Utusan’s suspension letter addressed to Hata.

The letter, which was sent to Hata on January 11, stated that the senior reporter would be denied entry into any Utusan office throughout the course of the inquiry, and needed to seek permission from the company management if he wanted to enter the office.

“During the period of your suspension, you are required to be in a place where the company management can contact you, and you are not allowed to leave your neighbourhood,” said the letter.

Hata, who is also president of the National Union of Journalists Malaysia (NUJ) has been attacked by his own company for issuing statements to news portals The Malaysian Insider, Malaysiakini, Merdeka Review, and The Sun newspaper between September 21 and October 14 last year. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia ranked ‘partly free’

By Shannon Teoh
The Malaysian Insider
January 15, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 15 — Malaysia was ranked ‘partly free’ in terms of political rights and civil liberties with Indonesia the only country in Southeast Asia to be ranked ‘free’ for 2010 in a report released by US-based freedom watchdog Freedom House yesterday.

On a scale of one to seven, with one being the best score, Malaysia obtained a four for both political rights and civil liberties while Indonesia managed a two and three respectively.

Malaysia edged out Singapore (5, 4) in the Freedom of the World 2011 assessment while Burma obtained the worst possible rating of seven for both categories which resulted in the tag of “Worst of the Worst.”

Other countries that scored two fours were Honduras and Nepal while Australia, Belgium, Germany, the US and UK were among those that obtained the best possible score of two ones. Read the rest of this entry »