Malaysia floods: Focus your energy on relief efforts rather than threatening reporters, Muda tells authorities

Search and rescue personnel help evacuate flood victims in Taman Sri Muda, Shah Alam December 20, 2021.  — Picture by Hari Anggara
Search and rescue personnel help evacuate flood victims in Taman Sri Muda, Shah Alam December 20, 2021. — Picture by Hari Anggara

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KUALA LUMPUR, January 4 – The Malaysia United Democratic Alliance (Muda) has called upon the authorities not to investigate Free Malaysia Today (FMT) reporter Sean Augustin for his article on the flooding in Selangor.

In a statement, Muda said the media should be allowed to write without prejudice on grave matters concerning the country especially during a natural disaster such as the current flooding nationwide.

“The media’s role is especially important during this current crisis as they will encourage accountability and a more effective flood relief response compared to the relevant authorities.

“The authorities should channel their resources towards flood relief efforts and fighting hardcore crime rather than investigating a reporter who was doing his job,” said Muda deputy president Lim Wei Jiet.

“Muda rejects any attempts to threaten or intimidate the media and reporters who play an important role in the nation’s democracy,” he added.

Sean has been reprimanded for his article titled “Fed up with waiting, military rolls into flood relief.”

As part of the story, an unnamed source was quoted as saying that the Malaysian Armed Forces decided to start evacuating flood victims to relief centres in five states, without waiting for any directive from Nadma, as the flooding grew more widespread.

The source was also quoted as saying that the Selangor government had been reluctant to get the military involved.

It is thought that the police report is related to the anonymous source.

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