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Police probing The Star for sedition, reveals IGP

 | May 30, 2017

Khalid Abu Bakar says police will call in those responsible for the layout of its controversial front page on Saturday.

Khalid-Abu-BakarPETALING JAYA: Police are investigating The Star for sedition over its front page layout on Saturday, which drew condemnation for purportedly linking Islam to terrorism.

In a report in Berita Harian Online, Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said an investigation paper had been opened following many reports lodged against the English-language daily.

“We will call those responsible for the layout to have their statements taken,” the Malay portal quoted Khalid as saying after an event in Kuala Lumpur.

Khalid’s disclosure comes a day after the home ministry issued The Star a show cause letter, demanding that the daily explained why action shouldn’t be taken against it under the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984.

Saturday’s front page carried the headline “Malaysian terrorist leader” above an unconnected picture of Muslims at tarawih prayers.

Members of the public along with leaders from both sides of the political divide condemned the front page layout which they said depicted Muslims as terrorists.

Calls were made for the paper to be suspended and stern action be taken against those responsible.

In an immediate response, The Star issued an apology for its “poor judgment”.

According to the daily, it was the newspaper’s practice to publish front page pictures of Muslims performing tarawih prayers on the first day of Ramadan as a mark of respect for the holy month.

PAS information chief Nasrudin Hassan Tantawi, who branded The Star’s front page as “extreme and rude”, said an apology wasn’t enough.

On a separate matter, Khalid said police were still waiting for verification from their Philippine counterparts on the two Malaysians who were killed in the fighting between security forces and militants in Marawi, southern Philippines, last week.

“According to our investigations, five Malaysians were among the militants,” he added.

Four days ago, the home ministry confirmed the two individuals killed in the Marawi battles were Malaysians.

However, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also the home minister, said the ministry would check the identities of the men before making further statements.

They were believed to be among 13 militants killed in battle with the Philippine military.

The battle began on Tuesday when the Philippine forces stormed the streets of Marawi to look for Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon and the local terrorist group known as Maute, which pledges allegiance to the Islamic State (IS).

 


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