Thanks to Elan who alerted me this morning about the persecution of seven DJs at the RTM Tamil radio station Minnal FM for suspected participation in theHindraf Rally on November 25 which they have denied.
Malaysiakini reported that they have been either sacked or suspended. The news was first broken by Tamil Daily Makkla Osai.
This is not an attack on the journalists alone. Neither is it an injustice upon our Indian brothers and sisters.
It is a political witch hunt aiming at all Malaysians, to deliver a chilling effect on all of us.
It is an assault on the Federal Constitution.
It makes a joke of Article 10 which guarantee our freedoms of expression, of peaceful assembly and of association.
It’s another Niemoller moment.Last night at Blog House, a brother reminded us that how most Malaysians were quiet when the state went after Al-Arqam.
We must not let our brothers and sisters at Minnal FM face the political witch hunt on their own. If they are cowed, you, me and everyone of us may be the next victim.
Now, it has nothing to do with whether they have actually attended the Hindraf rally or if you supported the Hindraf cause. In this light, it is commendable that PAS has defended Hindraf’s right to peacefully assemble even though they criticized Hindraf’s positions.
It has everything to do with defending our Constitution which guarantees our freedom.
Let us put up a yellow ribbon – the symbol for press freedom in Malaysia since 2001 and for a legitimately elected government since November 10, 2007 – to show our solidarity with our Tamil journalists.
Below is the explanation offered by Zainuddin Maidin, the Ministry of Information. Is it true? You decide.
10 December, 2007
KUALA LUMPUR: The contracts of two deejays of Tamil radio station Minnal fm were not extended due to indiscipline and unsatisfactory work performances. Information Minister Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin said RTM had received a report that the performances of the two contract workers were not satisfactory and that they had disobeyed orders and breached guidelines.
He denied opposition leader Lim Kit Siang’s claim in the Dewan Rakyat that seven deejays of Minnal fm, including the two, had their contracts terminated for participating in the illegal assembly held by Hindraf on Nov 25.
“The accusation that the government did not extend their service contracts to suppress the Indian community is baseless. This issue has been exploited by certain groups to embarrass the government.” — Bernama