Malaysia Today is a popular Malaysian news blog. It is known for being critical of both the governing Barisan Nasional coalition and opposition parties such as the Democratic Action Party, Sarawak National Party, and Parti Keadilan Rakyat. Its founder and chief editor is Raja Petra Kamarudin, a former political detainee.
Founded in August 2004, it has claimed that it has received almost 100 million hits since then, and alleges it has a readership larger than that of the New Straits Times, a major English language daily newspaper in Malaysia. According to The Star, Malaysia Today receives 1.5 million hits a day, and is one of the top ten political sites in Malaysia. The website is currently hosted in neighbouring Singapore.
Malaysia Today was launched about two weeks before the release of Anwar Ibrahim from prison on September 2, 2004; Anwar was once Deputy Prime Minister, but fell from grace after his actions during the 1997 Asian financial crisis, and was sacked by then Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad. Anwar was imprisoned in 1998 after he was allegedly found guilty of charges of corruption and released in 2004. Raja Petra, who was the webmaster of the Free Anwar Campaign website, decided to form Malaysia Today shortly before Anwar's release as part of a "Free Malaysia" campaign. Raja Petra took credit for predicting that Anwar would be released several weeks before it actually occurred.
Censorship by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission
On August 27, 2008 Malaysia Today website was blocked by the Malaysian government, allegedly in response to unspecified reader comments to a January 16, 2008 article. The censorship was removed on 12 September 2008, but Raja Petra Kamaruddin was arrested the same day under the ISA (Internal Security Act). On November 7, 2008, he was freed from detention by Malaysian authorities after Shah Alam city High Court Justice Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad granted his habeas corpus petition and ruled that his September 12 detention was illegal.
Notes and references
- Kamarudin, Raja Petra (Jan. 2, 2006). "The pen is mightier than the sword". Malaysia Today.
- Tan, Joceline (Jan. 14, 2006). Petra survives the bad press. The Star.
- Kamarudin, Raja Petra (Feb. 20, 2006). Didn’t I tell you so? Malaysia Today.
- "Plans for action against Malaysian bloggers". Daniel Chandranayagam. Global Voices Advocacy. 2008-08-27. Retrieved 2008-08-27.
- "The 'offending' article that got MT blocked". Raja Petra Kamarudin. Malaysia Today. 2008-08-29. Retrieved 2013-01-25.