A pall of gloom hangs over the editorial office of China Press, Malaysia's second-biggest Chinese-language daily newspaper that first broke the story in November that a 'Chinese' national was forced to strip and abused by police in a cell. Editor-in-chief Chong Choong Nam has packed his belongings and stands ready to be reassigned or sacked, said a senior reporter. 'We hope we are let off with a stern warning but there is talk we might be suspended for three months,' said a senior editor of the paper that is owned by the Malaysian Chinese Association, the main Chinese political partner in government. Others expect the worst after angering the authorities with their 'in-your-face' reporting of suicides, murder and rapes. The last straw for the authorities was the paper's November 23 report that a Chinese national had been abused by police. The story and video grabs of a 'Chinese' woman in detention being made to squat naked by a female police officer made headlines across the region. But an independent inquiry later established the person being held was Malay. By then the damage was done. The Malaysian government not only apologised to China but also sent a senior minister on a humiliating fence-mending mission to Beijing. Eventually, China Press which sells about 300,000 copies daily, was blamed because it was the first to report that the victim was a Chinese national. On December 21, the Internal Security ministry, which has powers to issue, revoke or change the terms of any printing and publishing licence, ordered the daily to show cause for false reporting. Ministry decisions are not subject to judicial review. The daily replied explaining that it was difficult to verify the identity of the victim at that time. It also apologised and promised to be more careful in its reporting.