Media Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, 30th December 2008: 

Hamid, Shabery Cik and MCMC should explain why so tardy and laid-back in taking action against the blog which insults Prophet Mohammad 

While all right-thinking Malaysians, regardless of race or religion, agree that stern action should be taken against those responsible for the blog which insults Prophet Mohammad, many are asking why the authorities have been so tardy and laid-back in acting when complaint was first made many weeks ago.

Although Utusan Malaysia first reported about the blog last Saturday, 27th December 2008, with the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, responding on the same day by directing the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar and the police to act quickly against the blog over insults to Prophet Muhammad, in actual fact, the authorities had been aware of the blog concerned for weeks.

This was revealed by the Information Minister, Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek who said on Saturday that the woman in her 20s whose photograph and identify were used in the blog containing insults to Prophet Mohammed had denied owning the Internet domain and had in fact met him two weeks ago to ask RTM to help clear her name.

Shabery said:

"She sought help from RTM to publicise the matter because the web log, which also contains Deepavali messages insulting the Hindus, was not hers and had tarnished her reputation and the company she works for."

But neither Shabery nor RTM gave her any help although she had lodged reports with the police and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to trace the people responsible after coming to know the existence of the blog several months ago.

Instead, the woman was picked up by the police at 6 pm on Saturday to “assist in the investigation” and later released on police bail!

The police said today that they have identified several suspects in connection with the offensive blog and several people would soon be called up to assist in the investigations under the Sedition Act.

The question Hamid Albar, Shabery and MCMC should answer is why the police, the RTM and MCMC had been so tardy and laid-back in taking action against the blog concerned when the woman victim had lodged reports with the police, the Information Minister and the MCMC weeks before the Utusan Malaysia report last Saturday and why she had to be taken into custody to “assist in investigations” despite her earlier complaints!

* Lim Kit Siang,  DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor