Friday, May 07, 2021

In Malaysia, big shots resort to police reports to silence critics


BSC, 7 May: Press freedom? Try Bhutan. Or Israel. 

Here in Malaysia, a few days after the World Press Freedom Day, a seasoned blogger was called in by the cops for the second time in two weeks for postings he made on his blog. The police was acting on reports lodged by some big shots against the blogger. One of them was a high-ranking official in a ministry known for dishing out hundreds of millions of contracts annually.

I have nothing against the police conducting their investigation whenever a police report has been lodged. That's their job and, generally (and I can say this from experience), the bloggers and journalists in this country are very cooperative. After all, we want the same thing as the police do: establish the truth, nab the crooks.

But what I can't stand is every time we bloggers get called in, these cops will confiscate something from us. If it's not the laptop or the computer, it's the mobile phone.

In the case of the 60-year old seasoned blogger, he "lost" his phone during the first interview and then his laptop was confiscated when he went in for the second time.

This modus operandi is as archaic as it is ridiculous, stupid even. The police should not treat us as "guilty" every time some influential people in government or politics lodges a report against us. The cops should regard us as "victims". 

Like I said, we want the same thing as the police do: seek the truth, expose wrong-doing. And we all know that a police report may be lodged to deter us from pursuing the truth and exposing those people. 

When my Ferrari (see pic) was confiscated from my home following a police report lodged by a Cabinet Minister some years back,  I never got the laptop back and I have never been compensated for the loss. Worst of all, nothing came out of that particular police investigation!

Related read: Awani to cooperate in probe into presenter over "brain on knees" quip - The Vibes

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