Each Saturday morning, my usual routine would have me pick up and read through The Edge Weekly. I’ve always found their articles on Malaysian business, the economy, and politics to be insightful, honest, and done without any fear or favour. The writings contribute immensely to the robust debate that is so integral to our democracy.
Today I, like many thousands of Malaysian business leaders, captains of industry, and the Rakyat in general, find that this routine has been broken. The iron fist of an administration that fears not just the truth, but even those who dare to question, is unveiled yet again. At a time when the Rakyat demand answers, it appears that the right to even ask is being trampled. There is no doubt that this latest assault on freedom of speech and freedom of press will hurt Malaysia’s image.
I am deeply disappointed with the Najib administration’s decision to suspend The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily for doing what any member of the fourth estate should rightfully be doing. It should be noted that this suspension is just the latest of many attacks on the Malaysian press; radio stations and online news sites have been cautioned, and journalists have been arrested and investigated for sedition – only because they were doing what they rightfully should do: report the news. And let us not forget the many more politicians, activists, and even a cartoonist who are being prosecuted under the archaic Sedition Act for merely asserting their freedom of expression.
Today we stand on brink of an abyss that is the result of decades of arrogance, corruption and the systemic corrosion of the principles of democracy and the rule of law. While the days ahead appear truly dark and foreboding, I call on all Malaysians to not lose heart. This is the only country we have. We must set aside differences, come together and rise to save our nation.
There are forces that want us to divide us, that want us to give up. But we will never give up. We will never surrender. We will build a better Malaysia, together.
Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail
Leader of the Opposition
25 July 2015