Malaysia (AP): Malaysia has frozen the distribution of an Indonesian-printed newspaper that supports the spiritual movement Falun Gong and is critical of China’s communist policies, officials said on Friday.
Authorities seized about 17,000 copies of the Chinese-language weekly Epoch Times‘ June issue and told the distributor, DZY Marketing, to halt further imports, DZY spokesman Raymond Ng said.
“The government has not given a reason for taking such a move,” Ng told The Associated Press.
He claimed the Chinese Embassy asked authorities to stop the circulation of Epoch Times in Malaysia. Embassy officials did not immediately respond to the allegation. Epoch Times is published in several countries and distributed free. It was started in May 2000 “in response to the growing need for uncensored coverage of events in China,” the paper says on its Website.
DZY Marketing began importing the Southeast Asian edition from the Indonesian province of Surabaya in February 2004.
Ng said the newspaper had received a “good response” from the ethnic Chinese community in Malaysia and appealed to the government to review the ban.
A letter urging the lifting of the ban was sent to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Wednesday, he said.