Malaysia Uncut

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Michelle Yeoh – Badawi Photo Causes Media Stir


KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia: Malaysian authorities have seized from newsstands copies of a tabloid newspaper run by an opposition Islamic party, but denied the move was sparked by the publication of a photograph that shows the prime minister at a public event with actress Michelle Yeoh.

The latest issue of Harakah features a front page photograph of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi placing a hand on Yeoh’s bare shoulder during a dinner ceremony at an international sailing tournament in Malaysia’s northeastern Terengganu state last month.

Officers from the Internal Security Ministry have confiscated copies from retail outlets over the past week because the newspaper is supposed to be sold only to members of the opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, the ministry’s enforcement spokesman, Zailani Hashim, said Thursday.

“The action has nothing to do with images published in the issue,” Zailani said, rejecting speculation by Harakah’s editor that the government wants to prevent the photo from being seen.

Harakah’s Web site said the photograph displayed Abdullah’s “naughty antics” with Yeoh, a Malaysian-born star whose international film credits include “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and the James Bond film, “Tomorrow Never Dies.”

The Islamic party that publishes Harakah has often accused Abdullah’s moderate government of failing to uphold religious and moral standards in this Southeast Asian country, where nearly two-thirds of the 26 million people are ethnic Malay Muslims.

The party is the main political rival of Abdullah’s ruling coalition and publishes 140,000 copies of Harakah twice a month. The newspaper’s government-approved publication license states it can only be sold to party members, but the rule is often not stringently enforced.

Fewer than 100 copies have been seized from outlets in Malaysia’s main city, Kuala Lumpur, Zailani said. He added that the government has the right to retract the newspaper’s permit because it was violating its conditions, but no such action is being planned so far.

Harakah’s editor, Ahmad Lutfi Othman, said the permit’s conditions were unfair. He noted that copies had sometimes been confiscated from public outlets between 1999 and 2000, but that this was the first such incident since he became editor last February.

“We believe the government is now trying to create a culture of fear through these raids,” Ahmad Lutfi said. “We’re studying this matter with plans to challenge the regulations in court.”

International and local rights groups have long criticized restrictions on press freedoms in Malaysia, where the government is closely linked with the mainstream media and wields tough laws that require publishers to obtain annual permits from authorities.

Source: Associated Press


Friday, January 5, 2007 - Posted by | Issues, News, Politics


  1. So much for the “Hadhari” of his. What is wrong with the BN supporters? Are they freaking blind? Oh yeah, I get it. They live and get used into something like that anyways. To them, it is so freakingly normal and they live like that all day. Dirty old man. Come on, with respect, if that is (you BN supporters) your leader, a guy who leads you, then all of you will end up like him. This saddening and digusting. But not for BN supporters. Because they obviously do not who their leader really is. Wake up and stop eating nasi lemak BN people (especially UMNO, with respect though).

    Comment by wrong trousers | Thursday, March 13, 2008 | Reply

  2. Ur missing some texts in ur sentences but it ain’t a problem. the news is old and glad to know we happen to comment on the same day. the pic is like u said disgusting for an old man of course. a leader is an image to their party. and so is this how the bn party look like? well most likely. that happens when you happen to live like a western for years of living posh. the old man im pretty he realizes that his photo is taken. bn must never rule the country again. we’ve learned a lot from the recent issues, esp soi lek’s scandals. theres nothing wrong bn actually but its the people who makes it worse.

    -mylin chien “ba all the way”

    Comment by AX-Angel | Thursday, March 13, 2008 | Reply

  3. Don’t be so over-sensitive over such a minor thing lah!

    Comment by Penang Shan Chee Hoong | Wednesday, July 22, 2009 | Reply

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