Home Ministry summons Nanyang Siang Pau, issues show cause letter


PUTRAJAYA: The Ministry of Home Affairs (KDN) today called up the editor-in-chief of the newspaper company, Nanyang Siang Pau Sdn Bhd (Nanyang Siang Pau) following the publication of a caricature insulting the Dewan Rakyat Speaker, Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia and the Member of Parliament for Marang, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang who is PAS president.

Home Ministry Secretary-General Datuk Seri Alwi Ibrahim said in a statement that the show-cause letter dated today was issued to the Chinese daily under the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984.

He said the publisher was given three days to respond to the show-cause latter.

"Subsequent action will be taken based on the regulations and procedures specified," he said.

Alwi said the caricature could jeopardise public order as it encouraged negative sentiments, enmity, hatred and prejudice against other people or races.

"It is also indirectly ridiculing Parliament and the Islamic religion because the Bill 355 (Syariah Court (Amendment) Bill (Criminal Jurisdiction) 1965) which was portrayed in the caricature was linked to the Islamic religious affairs," he said.

On April 8, the newspaper carried a caricature in their portal which showed a monkey wearing a 'songkok' (Malay headgear) and labeled as 'speaker' while another monkey wore a turban and labeled 'Hadi Awang'.

Both monkeys were shown to be sitting on the branch of a tree which was labeled as 'Act 355'.

Nanyang Siang Pau, in a statement yesterday, apologised to Pandikar and Abdul Hadi on the publication of the cartoon and admitted that the publication was not proper for public consumption.

In addition, Nanyang Siang Pau also withdrew the cartoon which was on the Nanyang Siang Pau website, eNanyang.my.

Meanwhile in KOTA BHARU, about 100 members of Kelantan PAS Youth held an assembly at the Tambatan Diraja to protest the action of the newspaper in publishing the cartoon that insulted their leader.

They also showed their protest by burning the newspaper.

Kelantan PAS Youth vice-head, Mohd Ariff Abdullah said the action by the newspaper was clearly insensitive to the Muslims in the country. - BERNAMA