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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Columnist Mariam Mokhtar defiant in face of top cop’s “threat”


A columnist vowed to continue giving her opinions despite “crude threats” from the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar over her piece decrying Putrajaya’s treatment of two Malaysian-born communists.

Mariam Mokhtar said she felt that Khalid’s warning was a misguided attempt to silence the public rather than being aimed at her.

“I think the IGP was acting under orders,” she said in an email to The Malaysian Insider from London, where she is based.

Mariam said it was “refreshing to learn that the IGP reads online news portals”.

The country’s top cop yesterday warned Mariam over her article titled “One ideology, two reactions" in the news portal, Free Malaysia Today, which he deemed to be seditious.

He said Mariam should watch out or the police would go after her.

The article had irked Khalid when she questioned the Government's discrimination over the return of two Malaysian-born communists – ashes of the deceased Malayan Communist Party leader Chin Peng from Bangkok, Thailand, and Siti Aishah Abdul Wahab, who had been influenced by Marxism and was allegedly held as a “slave” in London for 30 years.

“In the original article, I had to keep within the word limit. I was unable to mention the alleged special treatment accorded to the Malaysian terrorists responsible for the Bali and Jakarta bombings – Noordin Mat Top and Dr Azahari Hussein,” said Mariam in the email.

She said it was shameful that Khalid had no understanding of the laws of sedition, nor of the role of the government.

Mariam also thanked supporters who defended her.

She added no one in authority had contacted her with regard to her article.

She said Khalid had lied to mislead readers and to harass Malaysians with his statement.

She questioned if he was attempting to disseminate disinformation and to stop people accessing alternative websites.

Mariam said Khalid should know that many writers, for alternative newspapers, were conscientious and wrote to highlight, inform and educate readers.

“We also seek answers to questions that our Umno-Baru MPs and BN leaders seek to avoid.

Neither I nor the publication that I write for seek merely to attract visitors to the website.” - December 1, 2013.

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