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Published: Wednesday July 14, 2010 MYT 6:30:00 PMUpdated: Wednesday July 14, 2010 MYT 9:04:59 PM
By ZULKIFLI RAHMAN
KUALA LUMPUR: Pakatan Rakyat will suspend the publication of its official newsetters - Harakah, Suara Keadilan and Rocket - until the opposition leaders meet the Home Minister on the issue of show-cause letters sent to the publications.
Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the leaders had written to Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein seeking a meeting to find out the reasons for the issuance of the show-cause letters.
"We want to meet him as soon as possible, and he should provide us with his reasons and give us the appropriate consideration for us to continue to publish the newsletters.
"Give an avenue to these publications so that Malaysia will not be seen as an autocratic country.
"Our parties have agreed to the suspension until we meet again next week to allow us to see Datuk Hishammuddin as soon as possible," he told reporters after chairing a Pakatan Rakyat meeting at the Parliament House on Wednesday.
To a question, Anwar said he was unsure if the action on the opposition publications was an indication of an impending general election.
"But, the truth is the opposition publications had successfully managed to convey the truth to the people.
"Umno is feeling pressured by this and it has taken an autocratic action (by issuing the show-cause letters).
"I wonder if (consultancy firm) Apco Worldwide had given the advice to the Government.
"The firm seems to give an impression that Umno is liberal, democratic and tolerant overseas, while it takes harsh measures within the country," Anwar said.
DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang, who also attended the meeting, said that Hishammuddin should give top priority to the promotion of human rights in Malaysia.
"This issue should not lead to any clampdown, which is not good for the country," he added.
PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said the party was willing to meet Hishammuddin to resolve the matter.
The Home Ministry lodged a police report against Suara Keadilan over its continued publication after its permit expired on June 30.
According to PKR vice-president R. Sivarasa, PKR had applied to renew Suara Keadilan’s permit in March
The PKR newsletter is still being distributed, under the new name of Keadilan.
“Let the court decide on Felda’s defamation suit against Suara Keadilan over the article (that Felda was bankrupt). Why are they (the ministry) threatening us?” Sivarasa had said.
PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali, who met the ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Mahmood Adam on Monday over the showcause letter issued to Harakah, said the party was ready for any possibility.
Mustafa, who is the Harakah management committee chairman, said Harakah would submit a written explanation to the showcause letter on the publication and distribution of its July 12-15 issue, which was after its permit expired on July 7.
Mahmood had said that the ministry found Mustafa’s and Harakah managing director Datuk Kamarudin Jaafar’s explanation that they assumed the party was allowed to print the newsletter while awaiting the renewal of the permit as unacceptable.
On July 8, Harakah was given a show-cause letter for the delay in submitting eight copies of each issue to the ministry, and for selling the newspaper to non-PAS members and outside the permitted areas.
More to come:
Sivarasa blames it on the Home Ministry
Harakah to get another show cause letter
Ministry files report against Suara Keadilan
Home Ministry censures 10 publications for violating Act
Hisham: PKR newsletter has no publication permit
Officers poised to take action against unlicensed printing of newsletter
Suara Perkasa let off the hook
No permit, but PKR defiant on publishing newspaper
No decision yet on Suara Keadilan’s permit
Najib: PKR claim a big lie
Suara Keadilan's publication stopped pending Home Ministry decision
Home Ministry summons Suara Keadilan editor over Felda report
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