Focus on pressing issues instead of going after Steven Gan and Charles Santiago

Let's not waste our resources on things that shouldn't even deserve our attention such as the police reports against these two individuals

Steven Gan and Charles Santiago

It looks as if it doesn’t rain but it pours for Malaysiakini editor-in-chief Steven Gan, who is now being investigated for sedition alongside Klang MP Charles Santiago.

This development is disturbing as their alleged comments after a court verdict appear to have been criminalised. This goes against the norm as few would have deemed their views problematic or “seditious”.

The Federal Court had found Malaysiakini guilty of contempt of court over several readers’ comments and imposed a hefty RM500,000 fine on the news portal.

This news was much reported in the media, both local and foreign. Local and international NGOs and even foreign embassies in Malaysia expressed concern.

To single out Steven Gan and Charles Santiago for their comments is baffling.

We call on the relevant authorities to desist from pursuing action that can only be described as authoritarian and selective, as many others have also commented on the issue. Such actions will also erode our global press freedom ranking.

We also note that Section 3(1)(c) of the Sedition Act was deleted in 2015, effectively removing “to bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection against the administration of justice in Malaysia or in any State” as a seditious tendency.

Our collective energy should be focused on tackling the many challenges brought about by the pandemic.

Let’s not waste our resources on things that shouldn’t even deserve our attention such as the police reports against these two individuals.

Aliran executive committee
22 February 2021
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Khong Kah Yeong
Khong Kah Yeong
28 Feb 2021 1.11pm

Looks like MALAYSIAKINI will need to keep its legal defence fund open for donations for quite some time more?

23 Feb 2021 12.22pm

Does every police report launched need investigation? Don’t the police use their judgment and discretion to decide which merits investigation and which doesn’t?