Monday, September 14, 2009

Hindraf plans action in support of cow-head clips

Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) plans to organise protests if the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) were to charge Malaysiakini for airing the videos relating to the cow-head demonstration.

London-based Hindraf supremo P Waythamoorthy said the MCMC's probe on Malaysiakini under the Multimedia and Communications Act was an act of intimidation.

“We will organise various forms of campaigns in and outside the country to protest against the government if Malaysiakini or any of the media group's personnel face charges in court for airing the videos.

Malaysiakini had only carried out its duty to report a news subject of public importance. The online media has merely upheld the professional ethics of journalism.

“By probing Malaysiakini, the government is trying to intimidate the online media group to compromise its principles of justice, truth and fairness,” Waythamoorthy said in a text message.

According to the Hindraf leader who is in self-imposed exile in Britain, the probe had also infringed the rights of every Malaysian to have access to “correct and truthful” information.

“It's a calculated, malicious and ill-conceived prosecution aimed to undermine our right to freedom of information,” he said.

The public demand the probe

Yesterday, Deputy Minister of Information, Communication and Culture Joseph Salang Gandum defended the investigations, arguing that the public had demanded such actions.

The MCMC began its investigation after Malaysiakini refused to remove two videos which were deemed to be offensive from its website.

The commission interrogated 14 Malaysiakini staff members including editor-in-chief Steven Gan, chief executive officer Premesh Chandran, editors, journalists and members of the video and technical team.

MCMC investigation officers, who have visited Malaysiakini four times over the past week, have also demanded for the original videotapes while its forensics experts copied parts of servers' hard disk to establish a