Malaysia / Asia

Journalists attacked in Malaysia since 1992

  
A man collects supplies over barbed wire in the coronavirus lockdown area of Selayang Baru, outside of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on April 26, 2020. A journalist faces prison time over her social media posts on the health crisis. (AP/Vincent Thian)

Malaysian journalist faces six years in prison over COVID-19 Facebook posts

When Malaysian journalist Wan Noor Hayati Wan Alias criticized a government decision to allow a cruise ship with Chinese tourists to dock and disembark at the coastal city of Penang in late January, a time when China was at the epicenter of the COVID-19 global pandemic, she was criminally charged with causing a public panic.

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Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak speaks to the press in September 2015. News outlets that critically covered allegations in the 1MDB scandal are facing censorship and pressure. (Reuters/Olivia Harris)

Closure of news site underscores Malaysia’s press freedom crisis amid 1MDB scandal

On March 14, The Malaysian Insider abruptly closed its editorial operations less than a month after the state media regulator, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, blocked local access to its news site.

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Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, standing, has been cleared of wrongdoing, but the independendent media are tenaciously challenging the official narrative. (AP/Joshua Paul)

Amid financial scandal, Malaysia increases pressure on media

A financial scandal involving a state investment fund created and overseen by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, exposed in turns by investigative journalists, has put a parallel spotlight on the country’s deteriorating press freedom situation. A suggestion by the government’s top lawyer to strengthen the 1972 Official Secrets Act to penalize journalists who decline to…

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Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, center, denies allegations that he received money from a state investment fund for personal use. (AP/Joshua Paul)

Dogged by fraud allegations, Malaysia targets media

Investigative reporting on alleged mismanagement of a Malaysian state investment fund has triggered a backlash against muckraking media. On Friday, the Home Ministry ordered the suspension of two local news publications, The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily, for three months on the grounds that their reporting on the fund, known as 1Malaysia Development…

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Can Pakistan’s corrupt media be checked?

With ratings driving the profits of media channels, journalists and political talk show hosts are being motivated to stir up controversy at any cost. Meanwhile, the professionals who believe in credibility, objectivity, and honesty as essential parts of ethical journalism are becoming sidelined.

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Zunar with copies of banned cartoon collections. (AP/Lai Seng Sin)

No joke: Malaysian cartoonist stands up to government

Tuesday marks the next step in a legal faceoff between Malaysian authorities and the well-known political cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Haque, also known as Zunar. Hearings will resume in civil lawsuit filed by Zunar that challenges the legality of his arrest and detention in September 2010. Malaysian police arrested him hours ahead of the scheduled launch…

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Zunar displays a copy of his previously banned cartoons. (AP)

Press freedom heroes in Southeast Asia

Three Southeast Asian journalists–Cambodia’s Hang Chakra, Malaysia’s Zulkiflee Anwar Ul Haque, or Zunar, and Thailand’s Chiranuch Premchaiporn–were among the 48 awardees of the Hellman/Hammett grant, given to writers targeted with political persecution, who were recognized today by Human Rights Watch for their commitment to press freedom.

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Novaya Gazeta, a leading Russian independent news outlet, has been under cyber-attack.

Cyber-attacks on press up in number, down in cost

The last two weeks have seen a spate of denial-of-service (DOS) attacks against news sites, coordinated attempts to overwhelm outlets with fake incoming data so the sites cannot respond to legitimate users.

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The Malaysian power company took this blog seriously.

Malaysia court gets joke, drops case against blogger

In September 2010 we posted an alert about criminal charges being brought against Malaysian blogger Irwan Abdul Rahman. He was accused of “intent to hurt” because of a March 2010 satirical entry on his blog, nose4news, that made fun of Malaysia’s state-run power company Tenaga (TNB). The charges were brought by the Malaysian Communications and…

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Fighting bogus piracy raids, Microsoft issues new licenses

CPJ has documented for several years the use of spurious anti-piracy raids to shut down and intimidate media organizations in Russia and the former Soviet republics. Offices have been shut down, and computers seized. Often, security agents make bogus claims to be representing or acting on behalf of the U.S. software company Microsoft.

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