It seems that publishing articles on Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s expenditure and his wife Rosmah Mansor’s jet-setting ways can land news organisations in trouble.
Malaysiakini learnt that the Home Ministry has issued a show-cause letter to The Heat newsweekly over a front page article titled “All eyes on big spending Najib” in its November issue. However, it is also learnt that the Najib and Rosmah article was not specifically mentioned in the show cause letter. Malaysiakini is contacting the Home Ministry’s publication division for confirmation.
The Heat is published by the HCK Media Group, which is linked to corporate player Clement Hii. While sources remained tightlipped on the content of the letter, the weekly’s editor-in-chief David Lee Boon Siew also refused to divulge details.
” The Heat has no comments to offer,” Lee said when asked to confirm if a letter has been issued over the article that was published on Nov 22.
Previously, the Malaysian Insider reported that Astro Awani was ordered by the Prime Minister’s Office to retract an article on Rosmah, based on a blog posting by former New Straits Times group editor A Kadir Jasin. The report, in which Kadir quipped that Rosmah be appointed a minister, was later removed by the TV station.
Recently, it was revealed that Rosmah had flown in the government executive jet to Qatar for a women’s summit there last month. Following this, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Shahidan Kassim was grilled by lawmakers over the use of the jet. Pengerang MP Azalina Othman Said said later that Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin gave the nod for the use of the jet.
While there, it was reported that Rosmah delivered a keynote address at the Qatar International Business Women’s conference, attended a fashion gala and met several VIPs.The matter was also raised during the recent Umno general assembly.
Recently, about 200 people braved the rain this afternoon to take part in the Red Pencil Protest organised by Gerakan Media Marah in support of The Heat. The Home Ministry had suspended the newsweekly’s licence last month.
They believe Government must respect the freedom of the press, as the leader pf protest said “This is a matter that involves the integrity of journalists. This is a serious matter as the media is controlled by the government “