HARAKAH (February edition) Headlined ‘SPR memihak BN’ (Election Commission sides with BN) was Seized by Police
Harakah – February edition seized by police– contained two articles illuminating on (the Perak crisis).
- A full page interview with Perak PAS head of information Ustaz Misbahul Munir Masduki who is political secretary to embattled Menteri Besar Mohamad Nizar Jamaluddin.
Misbahul revealed that the two PKR and one DAP state assemblymen (Aduns) for Behrang, Changkat Jering and Jelapang respectively had in March 2008 signed a pledge of loyalty to Nizar upon the insistence of Perak Crown Prince Raja Nazrin Shah as a pre-condition for the ruling house installing a Pakatan state government, following the closely fought 12th general election.
- In the same Harakah paper, a page two story quoted Perak PAS state commissioner Ustaz Ahmad Awang as accusing the defecting Aduns of ‘treason’ to the Sultan when they broke their oath of loyalty to Nizar (as contained in the March 2008 written pledge submitted to the sovereign).
What is to say the same crossover-three’s-company might not present themselves before the royals in, say, 10 months from now with another change of heart?
Furthermore, two of the ‘independent’ Aduns are presently dancing a tango with the court on corruption charges and the possibility of having to vacate their seats if guilty still hangs in the air. It is indeed a strange definition of ‘independence’ if these Aduns throwing their lot with BN have assured the palace that they would vote along the ‘dacing’ party line on all occasions.
But in any case, blessings had been given Umno to proceed to form a new state government on short order and Umno’s Zambry Abdul Kadir sworn in as Menteri Besar at equally lightning speed.
Malaysiakini reported that distributors have been warned not to sell the Harakah ( PAS bi-weekly newsletter).
The Home Ministry also seized almost 20,000 copies of Suara Keadilan which frontpaged the Perak constitutional crisis.
Media watchdogs would be similarly keen to hear the official reasons given on why Suara Keadilan (Feb 4-11) and Harakah (Feb 6-8) warrant seizure. If the ministry could provide an explanation as to what content was deemed unacceptable, then the same set of criteria might be applied to the less than satisfactory mainstream media.
As it is, the authorities’ high-handed ban only deprives Malaysians of their right to information, and comparing news coverage with mainstream spin.