PUTRAJAYA, Friday 3 October 2014
Journalists today handed over to the Government a petition protesting the arrest of a journalist last month under the Sedition Act and called on the Government to enhance the freedom of citizens by repealing the Act and halting its further use until the law is abolished as promised.
They also called for any charges against journalist Susan Loone to be dropped. Loone was arrested in Penang on Sept 4 over a report on police action against a state executive councillor.
“We are not merely asking the Government to free Susan Loone of all charges but by presenting our petition, we are also asking for the government to enhance the freedom of all citizens,” said Tashny Sukumaran, spokesperson for the team from the Institute of Journalists Malaysia and Gerakan Media Marah (Geramm) that presented the petition to the Prime Minister’s Office here.
Datuk Tengku Sariffuddin Tengku Ahmad, press secretary to the Prime Minister, received the petition and promised to hand the document over to Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
During the half hour meeting, he told representatives from Geramm and IoJ that the application of the Act came under the police and the Attorney General’s Chambers.
27 September 2014
Unanimously resolved by members at general meeting for adoption and use. This Code is binding upon members of the Institute and forms part of the admission requirement.
We believe it is the duty and right of all journalists to uphold
freedom of the press
freedom of speech
freedom of thought
freedom of belief, and
freedom of opinion;
and to practice their profession with freedom from fear
We believe it is the right and duty of all journalists to
- uphold and safeguard these freedoms and to resist measures that restrict these freedoms.
- honour truth, accuracy, impartiality and honesty in their work and to always keep the public interest foremost.
- carry out their professional duties without hindrance by the authorities or any other quarter for political, racial, or religious reasons.
- resist external pressures from any quarter, and to resist any means of compulsion in how they carry out their duties.
- resist any measures that may cause them to offend this code or their conscience in the performance of their duty through such means as showing partiality, distorting or withholding information, or to act against the public interest.
- Protect the right of all journalists and of all citizens to hold and express all shades of opinion and resist measures to restrict the right to freedom of opinion.
Written by Gobind Rudra for Institute of Journalists Malaysia
- We shall respect the truth and the public interest at all times and uphold the public’s right to information.
- We shall report and interpret the news with honesty, disclose all essential information, and not suppress or distort information
- We shall keep fact and opinion separate and shall not allow personal beliefs to colour the content of our work.
- We shall respect the confidence of all information received in the course of duty, and resist any compulsion to divulge the sources of information in confidence.
- We shall always use fair and honest means to obtain news, audio and visual material, and documents except in compelling circumstances of public interest that hinder more straightforward means.
- We shall identify ourselves and our employers before obtaining any interview.
- We shall not allow personal interests nor political, religious, racial or commercial considerations to influence us in the course of our duties.
- We shall not allow any consideration, gift or advantage offered to us to influence us in our duties and shall disclose any inappropriate offer.
- We shall not plagiarise, and shall not make free use of copyrighted material except under fair-use doctrine with the source duly credited.
- We shall make every effort to correct any published or broadcast information found to be harmfully inaccurate.
- We shall respect the right of citizens to make fair rebuttal to opinions expressed.
- We shall always respect private grief and personal privacy, and shall resist compulsion to intrude.
- We shall not place unnecessary emphasis on gender, race, sexual preference, religious belief, marital status or physical or mental disability.
- We shall take due care to safeguard the identity and privacy of children and to interview children only in the presence of an adult.
- We shall guard against gratuitous use of photographs or reports depicting in graphic detail incidents of violence or of a sexual nature.
- We shall strive to respect the cultural codes of our community except where it conflicts with the public interest and the truth.
Adapted from NZ Journalist Code : http://www.epmu.org.nz/journalist-code-of-ethics/
At the inaugural Annual General Meeting of the Institute of Journalists Malaysia, held at Commonwealth House, Kuala Lumpur, on 26th September 2014, members elected the first Board of Governors. They are:
Lim Huiying , Tashny Sukumaran
(Alternate member: Esther Chandran)
Amirul Ruslan , Leong Hon Yuen
(Alternate member: vacant)
Boo Su-Lyn , Joseph Sipalan
(Alternate member: Alyaa Alhadjhri)
Periodicals, freelance and other journalists:
Teoh El Sen – (nominated from the floor to fill vacant uncontest position)
(Alternate member: Michelle Tam – nominated from the floor)
In accordance with the constitution of the Institute of Journalists Malaysia, one-third of the Board will retire after the first year, another one-third after the second year, and the remaining members will serve the full term of three years.
Members of the Board who retire from the inaugural Board in the first year and second year may offer themselves for re-election.
Notice is hereby given that the inaugural annual general meeting of the Institute of Journalists Malaysia will be held at: 7pm – 11pm on the 26th of September 2014 at the Tun H.S. Lee Room, Royal Commonwealth Society, No. 4, Jln Birah, Bukit Damansara, 50490 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan.
Google Map reference
1. Welcoming address by Board of Governors
2. To present and adopt the Annual Report of the Institute
3. To present and adopt the Audited Annual Accounts of the Institute
4. To present five resolutions prepared by the Board for consideration and adoption
5. To elect members of the inaugural Board of Governors of the Institute
6. To elect an Honorary Auditor and appoint an external auditor for the year ahead.
7. To discuss any other matter arising and, where any matter requires the approval of members by special resolution at a general meeting, to refer the matter to the incoming Board of Governors.
By order of the Board of Governors
First published at 20:36 on 15th September 2014
Republished at 15:05 on 20th September 2014
Wednesday 17 Sept
Philio Damansara II, Section 16, Petaling Jaya
19:00 – registration of IoJ members – bring your forms – tea and cookies
20:00 – meeting begins
21:00 – Q & A
22:00 – More or less ending time
- What does the Sedition Act say
- how does it affect journalists
- what must reporters and editors be aware of
- how the law has been applied
- previous cases involving journalists
- can we avoid falling foul of the law?
- measures we can take
- how has the sedition law affected you?
Speaker: Syahredzan Johan
“The reason why the Sedition Act is still in place is because it is so easy to use against dissidents,” said Syahredzan Johan, the chair of the National Young Lawyers Committee within the Malaysian Bar Council. “The Act is drafted very wide, so any form of dissent can be drafted in. It has a low threshold: there’s no need to prove intention or that anyone was incited. All you need is to prove that those things were published or uttered and you’ve got your conviction.”
Two recent cases, a teenager liking the Facebook page “I love Israel” and Universiti Malaya law lecturer Azmi Sharom’s sedition charges, shows how easily it can be abused, said Bar Council president Christopher Leong. The courts had now become a dumping ground for sedition charges, he said, and pointed out the discrepancy in application, which can be interpreted as selective prosecution against dissenters.
All working journalists, at all levels, across all media and across all language streams, whether in employment or working freelance, so long as your work consists of producing editorial matter for publication or broadcasting.That includes anyone who is a reporter, writer, editor, section or desk editor, columnist, copy editor, news producer or presenter, broadcast or video journalist, editorial graphic artist, editorial cartoonist, photographer or videographer.