By Nawar Firdaws | Free Malaysia Today
Five editors and a photographer from The Star had their statements recorded at Bukit Aman police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur today, following the uproar over the daily’s Saturday front page.
Their lawyer, Amer Hamzah Arshad, told FMT that the session which took place this afternoon lasted approximately two hours, and “went smoothly”.
“We believe the police will investigate the matter fairly and objectively.
“(They are being investigated) under Section 298A of the Penal Code and Section 4 of the Sedition Act,” he said.
Section 298A refers to causing disharmony, disunity and hatred by words either written or spoken, and those found guilty under it will face up to one year imprisonment or a fine or both.
Section 4 of the Sedition Act pertains to the uttering of seditious words, or printing, publishing or importing of seditious literature.
Under this section, any one convicted faces a jail term of up to three years, a fine of not more than RM5,000, or both.
The English daily yesterday reported that two of its top editors have been suspended for the front page which featured a picture of Muslims performing their Tarawih prayers, under a summary of a story which carried the headline, “Malaysian Terrorist Leader”. There was also a line drawn between the story above and the photo below.
The suspension order came after the home ministry issued The Star a show-cause letter on Monday, giving the daily seven days to explain why action should not be taken against it under the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA) 1984.
This is despite the apology issued by the daily on Sunday, where it said that the layout was an “error of judgement” on its part, and that they should have been more sensitive towards the feelings of its Muslim readers.
The editors involved have also pledged their full cooperation with the relevant authorities in the investigations.