© straitstimes.com

The two journalists work for an investigative program of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

Celia Tholozan   17 March 2016 17:39

Brilio.net - Linton Besser and Louie Eroglu, two Australian journalists, were arrested and prevented from leaving Malaysia after trying to ask questions "in an aggressive way" to the head of government, Najib Razak. The questions were about a corruption scandal that recently surfaced in the country and were involving many members of the Government.

The video recording posted on the newspaper's website The Star, shows Linton Besser asking questions during the press conference in Kuala Lumpur, about the mysterious murder of a Mongolian model in 2006. Two bodyguards were accused and sentenced to death for the crime but rumours say the order came from a member of the Government (in charge of weapons purchase). It was public knowledge that the model was his mistress and she apparently knew too much about some topics.

In addition to that seedy story, the Prime Minister is also mired in the suspicious payment of nearly seven hundred million dollars. The money was coming from his personal accounts and the payment made in the framework of the financial scandal involving the public company 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), that was created on his arrival at the Malaysian Government in 2009. His main campaign argument was to modernize his country…

According to the local police, the journalists climbed over a security fence and tried aggressively to approach the Prime Minister, while he was visiting a mosque on Saturday on the island of Borneo. "Both have therefore been arrested” stated the police. However, the two journalists, who work for an investigative program of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), were released last Sunday without charges.

Deputy Prime Minister, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, ensured that the freedom of the press, the local as well as the foreign press, was not threatened in Malaysia but that journalists "were to perform their duties in accordance with journalistic ethics of the country."

Opposition parliamentarian Lim Kit Siang, has for his part said that he is "horrified by the very inelegant and clumsy manner" in which the Australian journalists had been treated.

The tension between both countries has now return to calm, however, despite the words of the Government, it is still hard to believe in a total freedom of the press in Malaysia.

 

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