Friday, July 03, 2015

How is the Edge Expected to Defend Itself from Baseless, Vague Accusations?

Why do we have a Home Minister who doesn’t at all understand the rule of law and behave like a tin-pot dictator of a banana republic?

The Home Ministry has issued The Edge Publications a show cause letter accusing them of “publishing articles on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) that have created confusion and doubts about the government and our financial institutions.” The Edge was also are also accused of relying on an Internet portal for our articles.

However, the degree of intimidation is so brazen and crass that the show cause letter did not even specify the allegedly offending articles.

It was only fair that if The Edge was to be given a fair opportunity to respond to the letter, it must know what offence it has allegedly committed in the first place. Hence, The Edge rightfully requested for information on the offensive articles the paper has published more than 300 articles on 1MDB alone, Bernama, Bloomberg, Reuters, Business Times, Euromoney – alongside their own reporting from the media channels in The Edge Media Group.

However, the Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi dismissed the request for information outright in the most arrogant and unbecoming fashion.

"Whoever eats chillies will feel the heat, there is no need for them to ask us which articles involved matters which are not true… They should know." he reportedly told The Star.

The reply only proves that our Home Minister has zero sense of natural justice and tramples on the rule of law.

You cannot charge an accused of committing an alleged crime without informing the accused of the specific crime he has allegedly committed. This is among the first principles of natural justice of the English law, the European Convention of Human Rights and the United Nations.

How is The Edge expected to defend itself when it doesn’t even know what wrongdoing the Home Minister is accusing them of?

Dato’ Seri Zahid Hamidi should stop behaving like a tin-pot dictator of a banana republic. The Minister is making Malaysia the laughing stock of the world and destroying the country’s reputation in the process.

Dato’ Seri Zahid Hamidi must withdraw the show cause letter to The Edge if he can’t even specify which article did The Edge publish which was based on allegedly false information. His attention will be better appreciated to ensure that our enforcement agencies like the police are up to speed when dealing with the real crimes against the Government like the Mara property kickback scandal and the embezzlement of funds from 1MDB.

Tony Pua

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