BERITA DAILY LETTER: From Gerakan Media Merdeka, via e-mail

Gerakan Media Merdeka (Geramm) condemns the reported attack on Tamil Malar newspaper’s office along Jalan Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur, believed to involve a group of MIC Youth members.

According to Malaysiakini, the group had gathered to protest the Tamil-daily’s report which they claimed to be “pro-opposition.”

In the incident, Tamil Malar journalist C Christ claimed that the newspaper’s owner OMS Thiagaran and chief executive editor Saraswathy Kandasamy were assaulted and injured.

Also on scene was Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Datuk M Saravanan who was quoted by Malaysiakini as denying claims that MIC Youth had launched an attack against Tamil Malar and its staffs.

In a statement, Ipoh Barat MP M Kulasegaran claimed that the incident was triggered by unhappiness over Tamil Malar’s expose of allegations that implicated Saravanan and MIC Federal Territories Youth chief.

It also important to note that the incident followed two other similar attacks against Tamil Malar staff last month, also allegedly due to reports unfavourable on the MIC.

Geramm hereby condemns the actions of any individual who resorted to using physical violence as a protest against any media report.

Any dissatisfaction should be raised through the proper channels, exercising a right to respond or via existing legal means.

It should also be pointed out that the media has a duty in a democracy to carry out our duties unhindered and without fear for any parties.

Pressure from political parties on the media, particularly if involving physical violence, is completely unacceptable.

The media is not the enemy of any political party. But at the same time, the media is also not a partner that can be bought or bullied.

In this opportunity, Geramm would like to urge all our friends from the Tamil and Chinese vernacular press to unite in solidarity against individuals or parties out to use the media for their own benefit.

Such incidents of assault against the media should not be allowed to continue happening without attention or investigation by the relevant authorities.