KUALA LUMPUR – April 12, 2017: The Home Ministry wants bloggers who are angry over a caricature published in a local Chinese daily to know that it cannot simply suspend any publication without justification.
In this regards, Deputy Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed makes clear that no matter how upsetting the material was, the ministry has to follow the procedures stipulated in the Printing Presses Act.
“A show-cause letter must be issued before the ministry can decide whether or not a publication should be suspended or cancelled. If we don’t follow procedures the ministry can be sued,” he texted The Mole today in response to a query.
The call for the government to suspend Nanyang Siang Pau has been echoing in social media and blogosphere after it published a caricature deemed insulting of Dewan Rakyat speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia and PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.
The caricature featured two smirking monkeys labelled ‘speaker’ and ‘Hadi Awang’ sitting on a tree branch labelled as Act 355.
Although Nanyang has apologised, blogger Novandri Hassan Basri insists that the government must not turn a blind eye just because it had issued an apology.
“Their editorial team should have known the possible consequences of publishing the caricature. It doesn’t make it if the publication is not severely punished over this issue,” wrote the blogger.
Another blogger, Salim Iskandar of the Parpukari blog, agrees with Novandri on the need for the government to impose harsher punishment.
“Drawing a monkey wearing a turban is an indirect insult to Muslims. Even if they had apologises, don’t tell me the government will let them off the hook that easily,” said Salim.
The ministry yesterday issued a show-cause letter to the newspaper and also called up its editor-in-chief for an explanation.