MANILA, Philippines – Police officers and members of the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) raided the offices of Malaysian news organizations Malaysiakiniand The Star Online on Friday, November 6.
The raids followed recent reports separately published by the two news organizations about Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Shazalee Abdul Khairi, who was supposedly transferred out of the special operations division.
The deputy public prosecutor was one of 6 MACC officers investigating the alleged misappropriation of a 4 billion-Malaysian ringgit loan by former 1Malaysia Development Berhad’s subsidiary, SRC International Sdn Bhd.
Malaysiakini said that a 10-person team composed of the police and MCMC personnel arrived in their office in Petaling Jaya at around 5 pm on Friday.
The officers left about 3 hours later after seizing a computer and recording a statement from Malaysiakinieditor-in-chief Steven Gan. They expect police and MCMC officers to return on Monday to record statements from the two journalists who produced the reports.
According to Malaysiakini, its report, which is now being investigated under Section 500 of the Penal Code for criminal defamation, “made no mention” of Ahmad Shazalee being transferred out of the MACC.
Meanwhile, 4 policemen in plain clothes and two MCMC personnel also visited The Star Online’s office at about 10:55 am on Friday to ask the journalist responsible for the reports a few preliminary questions.
The Star Online said that the police and MCMC are expected to return on Monday to record a statement from the journalist and to seize the computer used as well.
The Attorney General’s Chamber (AGC) has already issued a statement denying that Ahmad Shazalee was moved out of the MACC. De facto Law Minister Nancy Shukri confirmed that Ahmad Shazalee was only given an internal transfer.
Malaysiakini editor-in-chief Gan said they stand by their story. “Furthermore, the law minister’s disclosure also confirmed that the report was not erroneous and a transfer did take place,” Gan said.
He added that they are willing to cooperate with authorities but said they will protect the identity of their sources “at all cost.”
“Malaysiakini will always continue to report the news and views that matter without fear or favor,” Gan said. – Rappler.com