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Friday September 12, 2008 MYT 9:16:48 PM

Three newspapers issued show-cause letters

KUALA LUMPUR: Three newspapers - Sin Chew Daily, The Sun and Suara Keadilan - have been issued show-cause letters by the Home Ministry.

Sin Chew Daily said via a report Friday that the show-cause letter, signed by the ministry’s Publication Control and Al-Quran Text Divisions head Che Din Yusoh, was received on Thursday afternoon.

The report said the publication was asked why action should not taken against it but did not specify any reason for the show-cause letter.

It is understood that the letter was issued to the country’s largest Chinese daily for reports on the alleged racist remarks made by former Bukit Bendera Umno division chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail which was criticised by the Chinese community.

The Sun editor-in-chief Chong Cheng Hai confirmed that the newspaper had received a show-cause letter from the ministry.

He said it would reply within the seven-day deadline as stipulated in the letter.

PKR information chief Tian Chia said Suara Keadilan editor had received the letter on Thursday evening.

He questioned the move showed that the Government had lost its direction as it directed websites not to be blocked just two days ago.

All publications are given three warning letters if they are found to have breached guidelines before issuing show-cause letters.

Failure to adhere to the guidelines further could result in the ministry revoking their publication permit.

In April, the ministry did not renew Tamil daily Makkal Osai’s permit. This was after its permit was suspended for publishing a graphically manipulatyed picture of Jesus holding a cigarette and a can of beer.

The permit was renewed a week later.

In 1987, the permits of The Star, The Sunday Star, Watan and Sin Chew Jit Poh were revoked during Ops Lalang, which also saw 106 people detained under the Internal Security Act.

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