Justice For All Malaysia

(KeADILan) finally gets permit for Suara Keadilan

Posted on: April 21, 2008

KeADILan Kuantan is looking for vendors to distribute the newspaper.
Please write to jfakuantan@yahoo.com if you are interested.
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Apr 20, 08 4:20pm malaysiakini.com
Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar has pledged to boost media freedom in Malaysia by promising to loosen up the government licencing regime and announced that he had approved a publishing permit for the PKR party organ.

malaysia budget 2007 2008 070907 syed hamid albar“I’ve just approved the Parti Keadilan Rakyat newspaper, and I asked my officers why not. I am open about it,” said Syed Hamid in an interview with the Star today.

“All political parties have their own papers. It’s their party paper. We have not cancelled the licences of any party newspaper,” he added.

The minister, allocated this new portfolio in the recent cabinet, said his motive was moved by a quest for everyone to contribute to the nation-building process.

The party, led by Anwar Ibrahim, has been applying for a permit for almost 10 years to publish its own newsletter for its members since the formation of the party in 1999.

“Even when people talk about press freedom, for me the bottom line is that we need press freedom in order for us to have a check and balance in government.

“I want to change that paradigm. We are not trying to control you, but we want everyone to contribute to the nation-building process,” Syed Hamid said in the interview.

Only one application

The former foreign minister also gave some hope for many by saying that he had instructed his officials to re-look the annual licensing requirement for newspapers.

“I have told my officers that I want to have a re-look at the Printing Presses and Publications Act so that we can move with the times.
“I have asked them to look for other ways of managing the media other than issuing the annual licences,” he added, stating that he would consider an one-off printing licence for the newspapers.

“I have not discussed it with the cabinet. My view is that we should issue licences only once (upon application).

“That way, we will have the right to suspend but you don’t have to renew every year. That is one of the things I’ve been toying with.

“My argument is why should we let ourselves become unpopular by having such regulations when we had exercised the law sparingly over the years but I need to convince more (people).”

At the moment, the annual renewals of such licences are seen as hampering the newspapers from writing anything critical of the government for fear of non-renewal of their licences.

Most recently Tamil daily Makkal Osai had its licence not renewed last week, effectively banning the daily from being printed. Syed Hamid had said that the daily had breached the ministry’s guidelines for the non-renewal of the licence.

He said it was not his personal decision but one done after a lengthy observation of the way the newspaper operated.

“They breached various guidelines that are stipulated in the publication permit,” he added.

Chance to regain credibility

In an immediate reaction, the Malaysian Press Institute (MPI) praised the intention of Syed Hamid to relax conditions for the licence requirement for newspapers.

Bernama reported MPI’s board of trustees chairperson Azman Ujang as saying that it was a wise move to strengthen the freedom of the mainstream media which had been regarded to be under the control of the government or component parties of the ruling coalition.

He said the government’s move would pave the way for the birth of more independently-owned newspapers which could enrich the democracy in the country.

As a long-term measure, Azman said the government should consider scrapping the newspaper publishing licence since the country had adequate Acts and regulations governing newspaper companies.

“Let the market forces dictate the survival of a newspaper, not the government’s licence. With this, the government’s image in terms of transparency and integrity will improve,” Azman said.

Azman believed that with the relaxation of conditions the government intends to give, the mainstream newspapers, currently faced with the credibility crisis as compared to the freedom enjoyed by bloggers, would be able to regain their credibility and reputation.

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Must Attend Program

Please go to this link: https://justice4allkuantan.wordpress.com/2008/10/25/invitation-public-forum-the-isa-and-the-police-reform-process-whats-next-after-pak-lah/
To sin by silence when we should protest makes cowards of people - Emily Cox

Siphoning EPF money

On 'Why should Valuecap borrow from EPF?' Syed Shahir Syed Mohamud: MTUC condemns the government's move to bail out Valuecap to support the local stock market using RM5 billion from EPF, as the provident fund is the custodian of the workers' money and not some sort of ‘automated teller machine' for the government.
If at all the EPF were to lend its money to the government, it has to be under the condition that there be transparency and accountability in the activities for which the money has been purposed. We want to know who is doing what with the money that belongs to the workers. This is the hard-earned money of the workers, their retirement plan. How is this bailout plan going to benefit the workers? We also question the reason for this bailout. If the economic fundamentals in Malaysia are strong and reserves sufficient as has been stated several times by the government, then why is there a need to offer so much money to the GLCs? Second Finance Minister Nor Mohamed Yakcop should prove how the EPF would profit from this loan. Bernama had reported that Nor had given the assurance that the loan given out by EPF would reap profits for the fund judging from Valuecap's past performance. But where is the paperwork and calculations to show that this move will benefit the EPF? MTUC is concerned that the loan might be mismanaged or misused and this, in turn, would affect the returns for the contributors. Mere assurances are not enough. We want to proof that this RM5 billion will not go down the drain. (The writer is president, MTUC). Sharyn: The government wants to use our pension money to prop up the Malaysian stock market which is the playing field of the rich people. If so, the government must ensure that the EPF account holders - who are predominantly the poor to average citizens of Malaysia - be guaranteed all of our pension money with a compound 8% growth (interest). It's so selfish and sick of the government to use the poor's pension money to help the rich to make more money with all the risks taken by the poor/average citizen. We can better use the RM% billion loans to Valuecap for our children's education, shelter, medical bills etc. Why not get those rich people to prop up the share market instead? Why should they park their money overseas and gamble with our EPF money instead? Kumar14: Who is behind this Valuecap organisation? Why suddenly, this separate entity is allowed to access funds from the EPF? Are they capable enough to handle it or is it just another desperate and blind move? It has been a very infamous trend where the people's funds are channeled to a company for investment purposes and suddenly POP! the funds disappear and there is nobody to be held responsible but a RM2 shell company. Charge who? Sue whom? The RM2 company (just a registered name)? We have seen this many times. People in power and with connections allow such things to go through and reap/rob the people's wealth and then blame it on organisations which actually don't exist. What if a lot of EPF funds are looted via such scams and nobody is to be pointed at? Where will the government get the funds to replenish the EPF? The people are very bored, disappointed, angry and frustrated at seeing all these dumb and unaccounted for measures being allowed by the government with lame excuses. Please, somebody verify the true purpose, integrity and capability of anybody attempting to use the people's fund.

Raja Petra

Photobucket Ihsan dari blog Go!Malaysian http://gomalaysian.blogspot.com/

ANWAR IBRAHIM

A prosperous future is indivisible from a firm commitment to the principles of distributive justice, the rule of law and a profound respect for human rights.

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