The Wall Street Journal

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Blog   |   Malaysia

Amid financial scandal, Malaysia increases pressure on media

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

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 divulge confidential sources with life imprisonment and judicial caning aims to squelch by threat a stream of official leaks that have sustained the politically sensitive story for the past eight months.

Blog   |   Malaysia

Dogged by fraud allegations, Malaysia targets media

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

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 Berhad (1MDB), had prejudiced public order, security, and national interests, according to news reports. The suspension came into effect today.

Blog   |   Singapore

Blogger in Singapore faces financial ruin following defamation suit

Singapore blogger Roy Ngerng addresses a crowd protesting website regulations in June 2013. The blogger faces damages in a defamation suit brought against him by the prime minister. (Reuters/Edgar Su)

"If we want our freedom, we have to fight for it," wrote blogger Roy Ngerng last year after he was sued for defamation by Singapore's prime minister. The case was sparked by a blog post in which Ngerng allegedly suggested Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had misappropriated funds in a state pension system. In November, the court ruled in favor of the prime minister.

Blog   |   Singapore

Lee Kuan Yew's legacy

What to make of Singapore's first and former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who died Monday morning in the city-state? Under the banner of the People's Action Party, Lee held government power for three decades. After stepping away from the prime minister's office in 1990, he held positions of senior minister and later "minister mentor" until 2004, when his son, Lee Hsien Loong, became prime minister. Under their rule (and the interregnum of Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong--not a Lee family member, but hand-picked for the role, with the elder Lee looming over his shoulder for 14 years), Singapore emerged from Southeast Asia's post-Second World War tumult as its most successful economy, a combination of authoritarian government, democratic trappings, and free markets that some predict will be the next century's model for growth and stability. And Singapore's media policies are being replicated across much of Southeast Asia.

Statements   |   Central African Republic

CPJ calls for probe into French journalist's death in CAR

New York, May 13, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls for an immediate investigation into the death of French freelance photojournalist Camille Lepage, 26, in the Central African Republic. In a statement issued today, the French government said that French troops had discovered Lepage's body in a vehicle driven by fighters of the anti-Balaka Christian militia, according to news reports

Attacks on the Press   |   China, USA

How the United States' Spying Strengthens China's Hand

The scope of the National Security Agency's digital surveillance raises doubts about the U.S. commitment to freedom of expression online. By Joel Simon

Demonstrators march outside of the U.S. Capitol in Washington on October 26, 2013, to demand that Congress investigate the NSA's mass surveillance programs. (AP/Jose Luis Magana)

Attacks on the Press   |   USA

The NSA Puts Journalists Under a Cloud of Suspicion

Governments' capacity to store transactional data and the content of communications poses a unique threat to journalism in the digital age. By Geoffrey King

The U.S. National Security Agency's data center in Bluffdale, Utah, has at least 100,000 square feet of the most advanced data reservoirs. (Reuters)

Attacks on the Press   |   Cambodia, USA

Without Stronger Transparency, More Financial Crises Loom

The recent financial meltdown should be treated as a lesson on the importance of information transparency and the crucial role of a free press. By Michael J. Casey

Sharp swings in the stock market have led to questions about who stands to benefit from high-frequency trading. (AP/Richard Drew)

Alerts   |   Egypt

Journalists detained, attacked amid unrest in Egypt

A man runs past a burning vehicle in Ramses Square. (AFP/Virginie Nguyen Hoang)

New York, August 19, 2013--New York, August 19, 2013--Several journalists working for international media said they were assaulted or briefly detained over the weekend. The attacks and harassment came as Egyptian authorities publicly accused international journalists of distorting coverage of recent events.

Blog   |   Afghanistan, Mexico, Security, Somalia, Syria

Do news blackouts help journalists held captive?

An image grab from a YouTube video uploaded on December 18 allegedly shows NBC employees, from left to right, Aziz Akyavas, Richard Engel, and John Kooistra in captivity in Syria. (AFP/YouTube)

At any given time over the past two years, as wars raged in Libya and then Syria, and as other conflicts ground on in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, a number of journalists have been held captive by a diverse array of forces, from militants and rebels to criminals and paramilitaries. And at any given time, a small handful of these cases--sometimes one or two, sometimes more--have been purposely kept out of the news media. That is true today.

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