The Star Issued Show-Cause Letter over Front-Page Blunder

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The Star has seven days to respond to a show-cause letter by the Home Ministry on its inappropriate front page on Saturday.

  • Terrorist story juxtaposed with picture of Muslims praying
  • Criticisms from public, political parties and NGOs
  • Editors summoned to KDN

The Home Ministry (KDN) has issued a show-cause letter to The Star over its front page on Saturday which featured a picture of Muslims performing the terawih prayer sandwiched between the lead story ‘Malaysian terrorist leader’ and a spa advertisement. The newspaper has seven days to respond to the show-cause letter over the inappropriate front page.

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The ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Seri Alwi Ibrahim said the publication must explain why action should not be taken against it, including having its printing licence suspended under the Printing and Publications Act 1984.

“The ministry regrets the news headline that was put up with an inappropriate picture that had nothing to do with the news and this is confusing, caused misunderstanding and prejudice towards Muslims who will be linked with terrorism,” he said.

“It (the front page) also has made fun of Islam as a religion,” he added.

In his statement, Alwi reminded the press to refrain from publishing sensitive material that could jeopardise public peace and order.

“The press is responsible for ensuring that the unity and harmony of the multiracial and multi-religious society are always protected.”

Despite its apology published today, The Star drew flak from members of the public and various groups, including several political parties and NGOs, who condemned the front page which they said made the Muslims performing the prayer in the picture look like terrorists.

Following the KDN’s decision to summon the editors of The Star to explain the front page blunder, four representatives of the newspaper entered the KDN building at about 10.50am today and left about an hour later. The Star team consisted of its specialist editor M Shanmugam and executive editors Brian Martin, Dorairaj Nadason and Rozaid Abdul Rahman.