16 February 2001


SUARAM demands that the Malaysian Government stop further attacks and intimidation on internet newspaper, by making skirmish statements that have managed to confuse the public at large.

SUARAM finds Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar's fiery comments on Malaysiakini most unwarranted. His comments on Malaysiakini for not practicing freedom of expression that it has claimed to uphold, after it refused an interview with RTM and TV3 has proven how shallow and distorted the views of our Foreign Minister on the understanding of universally recognized human rights standards of a free media in a true democracy. have addressed the issue squarely and have issued clear denials over claims of receiving funds from George Soros Open Society Fund. It has also displayed numerous letters and articles with different views on this issue. Thus it is unfair of Syed Hamid to accuse Malaysiakini of not upholding freedom of expression by refusing comment to two local TV stations.

To further say that Malaysiakini had no qualms running down and denying the country's achievements just to win awards is incriminating and insults all Malaysians who have actively taken part in contributing articles, letters and features to make Malaysiakini the successful alternative news channel it is today.

The Malaysian government must adopt a more open and liberal attitude with regards to a free media, and prove its commitment towards building a thriving civil society in a mature democracy, as information technology and the internet will continue to pose a contradiction to its iron fist policies on access to information.

Statement By:

Rashid Kang SUARAM Coordinator


Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) add: 383, 1ST FLOOR, JALAN 5/59, PETALING GARDENS 46000 PETALING JAYA, SELANGOR, MALAYSIA tel: 60-3-77843525 fax: 77843526 email: website: