JOHOR BARU, Apr 17 – The Home Ministry will not take action against Chinese-language daily Nanyang Siang Pau for its controversial caricature but wants it to to take act against the staff responsible for it said Datuk Nur Jazlan. The deputy Home Minister said the ministry had considered the newspaper’s long history and its obligation towards its staff in making the decision.
“We will not take action against the paper but we made suggestion for the paper to take internal action against those responsible. We will not allow the media to play sensitive issues, to hurt others, in this case is to hurt one’s religious feeling, then after that they apologies,” he said after officiating at a Anti Drug Day event in Tampoi today.
“It is not right to do these things because it damages the national security, and Home Ministry will not allow any printed media to do so,” he said while stressing the Ministry will not be so lenient with the next offender. PAS and several Muslim non-governmental organisations have demanded a direct apology from Nanyang Siang Pau over the caricature printed on April 10. Some PAS members also demonstrated in front of Nanyang offices nation wide.
Nanyang had apologised and the Home Ministry had received Nanyang’s explanation. The caricature titled Monkey Act featured two monkeys on a tree named “Act 355”. One monkey is seen wearing a songkok while the other a turban. The monkey wearing the songkok was labelled “speaker” while the turbaned monkey was labelled “Hadi Awang”. Under the tree a group of monkeys, alluding to parliamentarians, are seen fighting.