Press Statement By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng In Komtar, George Town On 25.7.2015.
The Home Ministry’s 3-months suspension of The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily for exposing the RM42 Billion 1MDB financial scandal signals that Malaysia is moving back to the dark ages of oppression, corruption and entitlement instead of looking towards a brighter tomorrow of freedom, transparency and accountability. Not just human rights and media activists have condemned such draconian measures, even former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, prominent businessman like Air Asia boss, Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, and CIMB Chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, the brother of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, have condemned such suspension.
Nazir even called the publications a pillar of the business community that had played a big role in keeping the public “informed, honest and competitive”. However Nazir is correct in stressing that legal action for defamation should be taken in court if there is wrong or false reporting.
The Home Ministry said that the publications’ coverage of 1MDB was “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”. Clearly publishing exposes of questionable financial misconduct is unacceptable as compared to covering up or not highlighting scandalous conduct as in 1MDB financial scandal.
If exposing financial scandal and wrongdoing is wrong and merited closure of these publications, then the Washington Post would have been closed by the US government for exposing the Watergate scandal that brought down President Nixon. Instead both the papers and the journalists exposing the scandal were lionized and feted as heroes for press freedom and patriots of the country.
Similarly both publications should be lionized and not punished for daring to expose the 1MDB financial scandal based on documentation that other BN-controlled media dare not do.
Both the Penang state government and the DAP wishes to condemn this suspension that is not only undemocratic but serves to unravel and reverse any gains achieved in fighting corruption and improving our standing with the Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index. For failing to stand up for a full accounting and demand action against wrongdoers in the 1MDB scandal, Ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Paul Low and Datuk Seri Idris Jala should resign to salvage their tattered reputation for not daring to demand that the Prime Minister take leave in the midst of investigations over The Wall Street Journal’s allegations of USD700 million deposited in Datuk Seri Najib’s personal bank account.
The Home Ministry should reverse their ban of both publications immediately. Paul Low should also be condemned for failing to uphold the standards of transparency he had advocated when he was Transparency International Malaysia President. Are the perks and privileges of Ministerial office so prized that he is willing to trade in his honour and dignity?
LIM GUAN ENG
吊销揭发一马发展有限公司420亿令吉财务丑闻的 《The Edge周刊》及《The Edge 财经日报》，显示马来西亚回到遭压逼、腐败及霸权的黑暗时代，而不是迈向更自由、透明及问责制的更美好的明天。
内政部吊销揭发一马发展有限公司420亿令吉财务丑闻的《The Edge 周刊》及《The Edge 财经日报》3个月的出版准证，显示马来西亚回到遭压逼、腐败及霸权的黑暗时代，而不是迈向更自由、透明及问责制的更美好的明天。政府此举不只遭人权分子及媒体人严厉谴责，连前首相敦马哈迪医生、著名商人如亚洲航空老板丹斯里东尼费南德斯、首相胞弟兼土著联昌银行主席拿督斯里纳西尔拉萨也谴责这项吊销行动。