28 Feb 2016
“Grafik Rebel Untuk Protes & Aktivisme (Grupa) views the recent decision by the Malaysian Communications And Multimedia Commission to block news portal The Malaysian Insider as another blatant attempt by the desperate elites in stifling free speech on the pretext of national security when in reality the role of the media is to assist the public to develop critical thinking.
We feel that the time has come for Malaysians to demand for media and internet freedom in light of the latest assault on freedom of speech in Malaysia. It is thanks to such tactics many journalists from independent portals face a tough time when covering ruling party lawmakers and the reporters from the mainstream media are often dubbed government lapdogs.
We aim to put an end to this idiosyncrasy once and for all with the launch of our #freethemedia #bebasmedia campaign.
We also urge the public to show solidarity with TMI and demand press and internet freedom in whichever creative means they can.
Time to wake up from your slumber, Malaysians.”
Graphic artists in M’sia launch online poster campaign for media freedom http://bit.ly/1TGZvac
KUALA LUMPUR — Artists with Grafik Rebel Untuk Protes & Aktivisme (Grupa) have launched a media freedom campaign inviting Malaysians to oppose Putrajaya’s clampdown on the press by expressing their views through art and creative works.
The anonymous group’s latest posters are a clever use of word play and graphics portraying solidarity with news outlets that have been suspended or blocked by the authorities, such as former weekly magazine The Heat, business papers The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily and most recently, The Malaysian Insider.
One of the posters reads, “First they couldn’t take the heat, then we were all at the edge, now we are outsiders” — the last reference a play of words on The Malaysian Insider’s mirror page.
The Malaysian Insider has been blocked since Thursday (Feb 25) by the Malaysia’s Internet regulator after a report quoting a member of the anti-graft authority’s oversight panel who spoke on condition of anonymity that there was enough evidence to charge Prime Minister Najib Razak for alleged criminal wrongdoing in Finance Ministry-owned firm SRC International.
The Heat’s suspension in 2013 by the Home Ministry was believed to be over their cover story on Mr Najib titled “All eyes on big-spending PM Najib”.
The suspension was lifted in 2014 and the newsweekly was allowed to continue operations without any change to its publishing permit.
Financial newspapers, The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily were suspended last year for reporting on alleged graft at state-owned investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), where Najib sits as its advisory board chairman.
The suspension on both papers owned by The Edge Media Group was lifted in September last year following a High Court order.