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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Arrest of TMI journalists: Need to defend not just Freedom but also Integrity of the Press

Lionel and Black with their lawyer Shahredzan Johan. Pic TMI

I was wrong ... When I bumped into Jahabar Saddiq after last week's Friday prayers, he cheekily asked me: 
"Would you like a photograph with me before I go in?". 
He was referring, of course, to my previous day's blog posting All's not well at Angkasapuri (March 26) in which I slammed the authorities for not taking serious note at TMI for an article that could cause friction between its readers and the Monarchy, an important institution in this country. My reaction to Jahabar's suggestion was sure. 
"Ah, you won't go in lah." I was wrong: the police this morning arrestedJahabar, the TMI editor, and his boss Ho Kay Tat, and three other editors -Lionel Morais, Amin Shah "Black" Iskandar, and Zulkifli Sulong
Now, I may not agree with TMI's brand of journalism most of the times, especuially when they spin instead of just report, but I certainly cannot agree with the arrest of the five journalists over the errorneous article they published (whether or not with the intent to ridicule the Council of Rulers or just because they were too lazy to double check with the party concerned).  
But having said that, I must ask my fellow journalists and bloggers out there to please stick to the truth at all times.  
My stand on this matter has been consistent. Back in 2007, when Raja Petra Kamaruddin and Syed Akbar Ali were charged with sedition, I was President of the National All-Blogs Alliance and facing a lawsuit initiated by a government-owned media group ...

To be continued ...

-rocky's bru

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