Friday, March 19, 2010

2-week suspension for China Press top editor

Chinese-language daily China Press has suspended its editor-in-chief Teoh Yong Khoon for two weeks for publishing an “inaccurate report” on the resignation of police chief Musa Hassan, which has since been denied by the government.

The slap on the wrist for Teoh came a day after the government announced that no action would be taken against the newspaper for its front-page report last Saturday that alleged that inspector-general of police Musa was to quit later this month.

china press apology notice 190310According to the Home Ministry, it was satisfied with the popular Chinese daily's written response to a show-cause letter issued on March 13.

Nevertheless, the ministry demanded that internal disciplinary action be taken against those responsible for the report.

"The Home Ministry will leave this matter to the discretion of the China Press management to decide on the disciplinary action to be taken against its editor-in-chief," said Home Ministry Deputy Chief Secretary Ahmad Fuad Ab Aziz yesterday.

"Such stern action serves as a warning to all irresponsible journalists[...] to never repeat this mistake and be more prudent."

Front-page apology

In a front-page apology today, which appeared next to its report on the 'no action' by the Home Ministry, China Press said that its March 13 report was "inconsistent with the facts" following furious denials from both Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and Musa.

chinapress reported musa hassan quits 130310The four-paragraph statement added that its reply to the show-cause letter had been accepted by the Home Ministry.

"This inaccurate report has caused inconvenience and harm to the prime minister, the Home Ministry, the home minister, the IGP and deputy IGP.

“This was not expected by us and we are deeply regret the publication of report. Therefore, we would like to solemnly apologise to all of them."

Top officials from China Press were hauled up to Home Ministry for an explanation over the report days after the report was published.

While Hishammuddin denied that Musa had quit, he did concede that there was an impending reshuffle, and a replacement for police chief had been identified.

Musa's contract will expire in September.

Previously, China Press was threatened with possible suspension following its report over the nude-squat scandal after the newspaper mistakenly identified the victim as a Chinese national.

This soured ties between Malaysia and China, and the then Internal Security Ministry was reportedly appeased only after China Press' top two editors were axed to take responsibility.

courtesy of Malaysiakini

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