Home Ministry won’t renew Suara Keadilan permit

By Clara Chooi, The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 4 – The Home Ministry insisted today that it has closed the file on Suara Keadilan’s printing permit, indicating that the PKR organ would not be obtaining its long-awaited renewal.

The ministry’s Publications Control and Quranic Text secretary Datuk Zaitun Ab Samad told The Malaysian Insider this afternoon that as it stands, the party cannot proceed with publishing Suara Keadilan as its permit had expired last June.

“Nothing has changed. Their permit has expired and that’s that,” she said.

She insisted that there was nothing further to discuss regarding the issue, pointing out that the ministry had already informed PKR that it was not satisfied with the party’s explanation on its queries.

The ministry had earlier slapped a show-cause letter on the party, seeking for an explanation on several offensive articles it had published, including the controversial “Felda Bangkrap” article.

It held back indefinitely on its decision to renew the party’s printing permit, which had expired on June 30 this year.

“We already told them that we were not satisfied with their explanation so what does that mean? As far as we are concerned, their permit continues to be expired,” she said.

When asked if this meant that the ministry had made a decision not to renew the publication’s permit, Zaitun said: “It’s not about that. The question of renewal does not arise. Like I said, their permit expired and it remains expired. We have also said we were not satisfied with their first explanation and they have not given us another one since then.”

When informed of Zaitun’s response this evening, PKR chief strategist Chua Tian Chang chided her for making such a statement, claiming that it was “not her job” to say if she were satisfied with PKR’s explanation.

“In fact, it is not up to us to satisfy them. The question now is whether the Home Minister himself is satisfied. If not, then he should be banning us right?,” he said.

He insisted that the ministry had no power or right to stop PKR from proceeding to find ways to spread information through its newspapers.

“Just like how you can reject an application for a ceramah but you cannot stop people from gathering? They canot stop us. They can throw you in court, or arrest you but they cannot stop you,” he said.