Suspension of The Heat, GERAMM Organises ‘Red Pencil’ Protest on 4 January

Kuala Lumpur, 28 Dec: The Angry media Movement (GERAMM) will organise an assembly at the Kuala Lumpur capital on 4 January 2014 called ‘Red Pencil’.

Participants will break pencils as a sign of protest against a series of violations on media organisations all this while, including The Heat, which recently became a victim of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA).


Announcements regarding the assembly were done at the ‘Free the Media’ forum organised by GERAMM at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) last night.

Among those on the panel who attended the ‘Free the Media’ forum were Malaysiakini founder and editor-in chief Steven Gan, The Malaysian Insider assistant news editor V Anbalagan, Free Malaysia Today chief reporter G Vinod, Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) executive officer Masjaliza Hamzah, Reporters without Borders (RSF) representative Hata Wahari, and independent publisher and cartoonist Ronasina.

Meanwhile, the GERAMM Secretariat, Radzi Razak, said that the assembly will bring together media practitioners, including print and portal media, to show solidarity against the suspension of the weekly newspaper The Heat.

“On 4 January we will organise a public rally that will bring together media practitioners and we will present a physical statement to the Prime Minister and all Malaysians on how important the media is,” Radzi said.

He said that the suspension by the MOHA allegedly had to do with the article titled ‘All eyes on big spending PM Najib’ on the front page of one of the recent editions of The Heat.

However, MOHA, led by its minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi, said that the suspension was based on a technical reason, saying that The Heat did not inform about the transfer of newspaper ownership.

GERAMM put forward eight demands to the government, political parties and media practitioners, that is:

To the Federal Government:

1. Withdraw the suspension of The Heat weekly and let it operate as normal.

2. Thoroughly investigate the violence inflicted by police against media practitioners during the Bersih 3.0 rally in 2012.

3. Abolish the publication permit which is made mandatory under the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA) 1984.

4. Allow all media practitioners to cover government events and access to public buildings for news gathering purposes.

5. Apologise to media practitioners for any breach of media freedom and rights.

To political parties:

6. Give full access to all media practitioners without discrimination to public activities and press conferences.

To media organisations and journalists:

7. Practice good journalistic ethics and give balanced and fair reporting to all.

8. Uphold the spirit of press freedom and human rights.

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