KUALA LUMPUR: The Home Ministry has given the three reasons for suspension of the The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily for three months from July 27.
The two business publications, owned by tycoon Tong Kooi Ong’s Edge Media Group, have carried extensive coverage of the financial problems of the government’s investment company 1Malaysia Development Bhd, which is reported to have RM42 billion in debts.
The Home Ministry’s secretary-general, Alwi Ibrahim, outlined the three reasons in a statement on Friday. He said:
First, the headings and reporting by the two publications has raised questions and created negative public perceptions of 1MDB and also implicated the government and national leaders.
Second, the published news reports were based on doubtful and unverified information, which might alarm public opinion and could or might be prejudicial to public order and national interest.
Third, the 1MDB issue is being investigated by an investigation team that has been set up. Therefore, it is inappropriate for the reporting (on the issue) to create negative perceptions and done continuously, and it is unfair for 1MDB and consequently for the government and national leaders.
Alwi said the publishing licences of the two publications was made after the ministry scrutinised their reports on 1MDB and the reply to the show-cause letters issued.
“The two publications were found to contain articles which violated Section 7 (1) of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 (amended 2012) which are prejudicial or may be prejudical to public order, or may alarm public opinion or jeopardise public order and national interest,” he said.
Alwi said the media should be more responsible in their news reports, in line with the freedom given.
“The impact of irresponsible reports on public order and national interest should be carefully considered and they should not contravene the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 (amended 2012).
“The publication of the reports should also be done in accordance with the provisions in the publishing permit in force,” he said.