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Updates with Hisham: Don't blame cow-head protestors video. Malaysiakini reader angry responses.
by Lin Wen quan
Malaysiakini should not pull the videos out. There were actual events that took place and not something M'siakini made up. The first video merely exposes those perpetrators of hate and religious bigotry. The second shows that their provocative actions, not M'siakini's, found empathy with none other than the Home Minister. It is preposterous to make it look as if M'siakini created the incident in the first place whilst the authorities appear like mollycoddling the real culprits who caused outrage and anger not only to our Hindu brethren, but to all rational and tolerant Malaysians. read more here.
The home minister hishammuddin hussein and the police did not find the on site cow head demonstration offensive, illegal, racist or seditious and in fact the home minister even defended them. Then what is the MCMC business to issue order to independent news portal Malaysiakini to remove two 'provocative' videos, including the footage of the controversial cow-head protest, from its website.
I salute Steven Gan for taking his stand not to remove the videos.
This is the letter issue from MCMC and what Stevan Gan had to say.
The Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has requested independent news portal Malaysiakini to remove two 'provocative' videos, including the footage of the controversial cow-head protest, from its website.
"These videos contain offensive contents with the intent to annoy any person, especially Indians.
"This is an offence under Section 211/233 of the Communication and Multimedia Act 1998," said monitoring and enforcement division senior acting director Abdul Halim Ahmad in a letter dated Sept 3. [letter here]
Under the communication and multimedia law, any individual found guilty of publishing content "which is indecent, obscene, false, menacing, or offensive in character with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any person" is liable to a fine of up to RM50,000 or a jail sentence.
MCMC, a government agency under the Information, Communications and Culture Ministry, is empowered to regulate matters relating to communications and multimedia activities, including private TV and radio stations as well as Internet websites.
According to the commission, it has received "numerous complaints" on several "provocative and offensive videos" that were posted on Malaysiakini and YouTube.
The videos cited were the 'Temple demo: Residents march with cow's head' and 'Hisham: Don't blame cow-head protesters'.
The second video is on Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein's meeting two days ago with the residents who staged the protest and his subsequent press conference.
Last Friday, the residents of Section 23 in Shah Alam made international news when they paraded a severed cow's head on the city streets to protest the proposal to relocate a Hindu temple to their neighbourhood.
Some of the protesters were also seen spitting and stepping on the cow's head, while at the same time threatening to "shed blood". The cow is considered sacred by Hindus.
Editor: Our intention was not to offend
The protest drew flak from various quarters, including politicians from both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat. Several police reports were also lodged against the protesters.
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had also expressed regret over the incident, which is being investigated by the police under the Sedition Act.
Commenting on MCMC's request, Malaysiakini editor-in-chief Steven Gan said both the videos are news events which are of public interest.
"Our intent in putting up the videos was not to 'annoy' anyone, but to do our job as journalists to draw attention to the protest and to ensure action is taken so that incidents like this will not happen again in Malaysia."
Gan said that there was no plan for Malaysiakini to take down the videos and the news website was seeking legal advice on the matter.