Democratic Malaysians must rally for intimidated Utusan journalist

Written by J. D. Lovrenciear (Malaysia Chronicle)

16 March – The dilemma currently faced by Mr Hata Wahari the National Union of Journalists President is one that deserves the support of all caring, straight thinking and patriotic Malaysians – employees as well as employers.

Why? Because this is not about politics but the very sanctity of humanity.

Utusan’s action on Hata has not gone down well on the members of NUJ and it is clearly understandable. After all the NUJ President was only speaking out as a responsible, right thinking leader of NUJ and concerned citizen of the country spelling out clearly the very fears loving Malaysians had been voicing for some time.

A free press must also be responsible; and a responsible press must always uphold the truth – even if it hurts.

And if it also true that he has been placed under ‘confinement’ (or what iwidely understood as restricted movement arising from the ‘house arrest’), it is far too serious a crime. citizens should not let this alone.

This case is not a NUJ problem. It is a problem that all unions should draw parallels with. This concern is not a Malay problem; it affects all Malaysians.

In a nutshell it is about the legitimate right to report fairly, truthfully and without any self-serving agenda that betrays the very fundamentals of freedom and democracy.

If Press Freedom is dead or even manipulated, democracy ends. If the mighty press is used to favour an agenda that riles and divides man against man, it is treason of the highest order as a nation of people become enslaved.

Hence, all loyal, caring, and concerned Malaysians and all legitimate bodies, including associations and NGOs must stand up in unision to convey the nation’s determination to ensure and guarantee press freedom and true democracy.

Even it means that all journalists from all the media (print and electronic including internet media) will have to stage a work-to-rule, let it be. If we really want to preserve the nation from the exploits of race-religion divisiveness and corrupt power grabbing elements, then let Hata’s dilemma be the final straw that broke the camel’s back.

Otherwise, we might as well shut up for good and toe the line till kingdom come.

Article by Azmin Ali