The suspension of The Edge is premature and without any evidence to support the move, says N Gopal Kishnam.
The Malaysian Trades Union Congress strongly condemns the decision of the Ministry to suspend the publication of The Edge for three months.
The MTUC also condemns any restriction on press freedom. It is the duty of any journalist to expose any suspected wrongdoing, be it by any individual or people in power. The suspension of the media publication only reflects the decrease in the freedom of Information.
Every worker has a right to know how public funds are being utilised for the benefit of the public as a whole. The Edge has done nothing more than alerting the public based on evidence obtained by them that there is a high probability of misuse of public funds.
Instead of investigating the subject of the report and documents obtained by The Edge, the publication was immediately slapped with a suspension order. This suspension has further affected the rights of about 300 workers covering other news.
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The Edge has gone to extensive lengths to explain their findings, indicating they are more willing to cooperate and assist in any investigatis ion. In any event, if the publication is suspected of any false reporting, a suspension is not the solution as it seen as a form of punishment before an investigation is complete, affecting the rights of 300 workers, who will lose three months’ earnings.
The MTUC is of the view that the Edge has only acted within its democratic boundaries. The suspension is premature and without any evidence to support the move.
Thus, we urge the ministry to re-examine the suspension order and lift it until at least the investigation into the media is completed. Clamping down on media is not the way forward for a democratic society.
N Gopal Kishnam is secretary general of the MTUC.