NGO Komas will issue a letter of demand to Utusan Malaysia for “labelling three (of its members) as militants”, its director Tan Jo Hann said today.

Tan said Utusan had done so in a July 9 article on the arrest of three Komas members during the Komas-organised screening of the film No Fire Zone on July 8.

“The Home Ministry officers brought it to our attention today. We have the news (clipping) in our hands now and we will start legal action. We will definitely sue them,” he said.

In its online version, Utusan says the trio are “suspected supporters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) militants”.

NONETan (left) spoke to Malaysiakini after a two-hour interrogration by the Home Ministry at its Censorship and Enforcement Unit in Kuala Lumpur, over Komas’ involvement in the screening of the film, which was raided by the ministry.

The ministry is investigating the screening under the Film Censorship Act 2002.

According to Tan, who was accompanied by lawyer New Sin Yew, Home Ministry officers also questioned activist and a former Komas partner Charles Hector in Perak over the same matter.

“But the partnership is no longer in place so it is really irrelevant. I understand that they will also question (Ipoh Barat MP M) Kulasegaran in Ipoh tomorrow, as he was there at the screening.

NONE“Liau Kok Fah of the Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall has also been questioned as they provided the venue for the screening,” Tan said.

He said that during the interrogation, the officers had also asked about Komas’ background, including its funding sources, but Tan refused to answer, citing it as irrelevant to the case.

He also chose to exercise his right only not to answer in court “a lot of the other questions” to do with the screening.

NONETan said the Home Ministry officers also said that the three Komas members who were arrested on July 8 may get their bail period extended “by another month (as the authorities) needed more time to investigate due to Hari Raya”.

“But I urged them not to extend it, and for the Attorney-General’s Chambers to drop the case completely. It was a film screening. To extend it further is just nonsensical,” he said of the bail period which expires on Aug 5.

“Instead of pulling strings on such a simple issue, the ministry should spend time (clamping down on) pornographic materials sold at pasar malam, which are accessible to children,” Tan added.