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Sep 14, 2008

Public pressure turns against government

malaysianinsider | Why was Sin Chew Daily News reporter Tan Hoon Cheng released 24 hours after her arrest under the Internal Security Act (ISA)? Was it because the alleged threat on her life somehow disappeared just as fast it appeared on the police radar screen?

The simple answer: The intervention by Barisan Nasional politicians, including a few from Umno, who were convinced that the government had committed a grave injustice by arresting a journalist who was only doing her job when she reported Datuk Ahmad Ismail's reckless description of Malaysian Chinese as squatters in the country. And who were concerned of the heavy political punishment that would be exacted on the Barisan Nasional for this mistake.

The Malaysian Insider has learnt that several Umno politicians met Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi last night after finding out about the arrest. They argued that the detention appeared to be a move to punish the messenger who had exposed an Umno division chief.

Wearing their political antennas, they also noted that the Chinese community ~ already peeved with the Barisan Nasional over a range of issues ~ is recoiling with anger over her detention.

One of the Umno politicians noted that if Tan deserved to be held under the ISA so did Ahmad who not only sparked off the ugly episode during the Permatang Pauh by-election but compounded it by making a series of inflammatory remarks after that.

This morning, MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting spoke to Abdullah, and voiced the party's distress over the reporter's detention under the ISA.... selanjutnya.


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