Media statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Friday, 2nd July 2010:
Home Ministry's suspension of PKR organ Suara Keadilan - sign of double-pincer movement of clampdown on dissent and triumph of hardliners and extremist screaming of Suara Perkasa?
Action speaks louder than words.
Today, the headline is: "Home Ministry suspends Suara Keadilan's permit".
But three days ago, Suara Perkasa made its debut with the screaming headline: "Arrest Ka Siong under ISA".
This raises the question whether the suspension of Suara Keadilan heralds a new political development in the Barisan Nasional with a double-pincer movement of clampdown against dissent coupled and the triumph of hardliners like the immunity enjoyed by the extremist and rightwing Perkasa to incite communal disaffection.
The Home Ministry's suspension of PKR organ Suara Keadilan for running foul of the Printing Presses and Publication Act (PPPA) must be deplored in the strongest possible terms as it is totally against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's pledge for a more open, tolerant, transparent and accountable system of governance.
One of the issues used for the justification for the suspension of Suara Keadilan is its coverage of Felda’s financial woes. However, as Felda has initiated RM200 million legal action against Suara Keadilan over its Felda report, this should not be the basis for any Home Ministry action.
The suspension of Suara Keadilan's publishing permit should be revoked immediately as this is a test whether Najib is sincere and serious in wanting a more open, tolerant, transparent and accountable system of governance which is an essential prerequisite if Malaysia is to make the quantum leap to escape the middle-income trap to become a developed high-income nation with inclusiveness and sustainability.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor