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BG: DAP Kutuk Penahanan Ezam
By Lim Kit Siang

7/3/2001 9:36 am Wed

[Ezam menafikan beliau membuat kenyataan yang dilapurkan oleh Utusan. Sepatutnya Utusan dipersoalkan kerana menyiarkan sesuatu yang bukan-bukan. Penafian Ezam ada tersiar dalam akhbar Star. Pada awalnya polis menangkap Ezam di bawah Akta Hasutan. Kini beliau disabitkan dengan Akta Polis dan mungkin Kanun Keseksaan pula. Nampaknya polis sudah tidak lagi berkhidmat untuk negara, tetapi menjaga Umno.

Tetapi ramai yang menjaga Umno bagai anjing hidup terhina walaupun mereka tidak berada di dalam penjara. Lihatlah kepada keluarga Rahim Nor yang malu tidak terkira. Apakah polis lain ingin mengikut jejak yang serupa? - Editor]


Media Statement by DAP National Chairman Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Monday, 5th March 2001:

DAP call for urgent establishment of an independent high-powered Media Council to promote free and responsible press with powers to expose all irresponsible foreign and local reporting

In his television interview with the Phoenix Chinese channel of Astro during his recent visit to China, which were telecast yesterday, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said one of the country's greatest threats is the foreign media which is seeking to sabotage Malaysia's development.

But to Malaysians who want to see the restoration of justice, freedom, democracy and good governance and the development of a peaceful, democratic, prosperous and united Malaysia, one of the greatest obstacles they face is a subservient and irresponsible local media.

In the past few days, I had repeatedly refused to be interviewed by the government television channels, which suddenly took a great interest in me, with TV2 even sending a camera crew to Bayan Lepas in Penang yesterday where the DAP was forming two new branches.

However, I still refused to be interviewed by TV2 as the government or government-controlled media, both electronic and printed, are not dedicated to responsible journalism but only want to distort, vilify and denigrate the Barisan Alternative, totally bereft of the most elementary canons of journalistic ethics.

The latest example of the irresponsible Malaysian mainstream media is the orchestrated attack on Keadilan Youth chief, Ezam Mohd Noor, for wanting to topple the elected government through massive street demonstrations every day, based on a front-page report in the UMNO-run Mingguan Malaysia which has lost all credibility and integrity as far as its political journalism is concerned.

It is not surprising that Mahathir has himself got into the act, which is probably one of the latest creations of the UMNO Dirty Tricks Department, but what is shocking is that the Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Mohamad Jamil Johari should be dragged into the fiasco by announcing that the police itself will lodge a police report to enable the police to initiate investigations that Keadilan plans to hold street demonstrations to topple the government.

What happens if investigations reveal that the allegations are false? Can the police itself be prosecuted for lodging a false report?

There is no justification for the mainstream media to go overboard with such "a song and dance" on the subject as Ezam had denied the Mingguan Malaysia report, which is acknowledged by today's Star. I spoke to Ezam by phone just now and he again categorically denied that he had said anything about toppling the elected government through demonstrations although he had spoken of organising demonstrations to allow the people the opportunity to express their many grievances against the Barisan Nasional government.

Another recent example of the irresponsible mainstream media is the dishonest manner in which they mounted an attack on Malaysia's only online newspaper, Malaysiakini - enlisting this time not only Mahathir but even the Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in the offensive.

DAP calls for the urgent establishment of an independent high-powered Media Council to promote free and responsible press with powers to expose all instances of irresponsible foreign and local reporting.

Mahathir and the government can lodge complaints against all instances of unfair reporting by the foreign media, while the Barisan Alternative and Malaysians in general should be able to lodge complaints against all instances of unfair reporting by the mainstream local media - and the Media Council should comprise independent-minded, credible and reputable Malaysians who are entrusted and empowered to expose all instances of irresponsible foreign and local reporting.

- Lim Kit Siang -


Media Conference Statement (2) by DAP National Chairman Lim Kit Siang at the "New Deal For Mother-tongue Education in Eighth Malaysia Plan" Conference at Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, Kuala Lumpur on March 6, 2001 at 1 pm:

DAP condemns arrest of Ezam and calls on Suhakam to speak out against the high-handed and politically-motivated police action

DAP condemns the arrest of Parti Keadilan National Youth chief Ezam Mohamad Nor yesterday and calls for his immediate release.

The police arrest was most uncalled for as it was based on the Mingguan Malaysia front-page report that Ezam had said that he was launching street demonstrations every day to topple the government.

The first thing the police should do is to establish the veracity or otherwise of the Mingguan Malaysia report as Ezam has denied that he had ever made such a statement, and he repeated this denial when I asked him over the phone yesterday.

There is no justification for the police to arrest Ezam before finding out whether there is any truth in the Mingguan Malaysia report, for if the report is false, then the person to be arrested is not Ezam but the Mingguan Malaysia editor.

Why should the police believe the Mingguan Malaysia and not Ezam, especially as the lack of credibility and integrity of Mingguan Malaysia in political journalism is household knowledge in Malaysia?

The DAP has made it an essential creed of our political struggle in the past 35 years that we are committed to political change through the peaceful and democratic process and not by any violent or unconstitutional means.

The government on the other hand should respect the fundamental rights of Malaysians to the freedom of speech, assembly and association and should take note that Suhakam is drawing up a code of guidelines whereby peaceful assemblies could be conducted by Malaysians to express their concerns and grievances to the government in an orderly, peaceful and democratic manner.

Suhakam should speak out against the high-handed and politically-motivated police action in arresting Ezam without establishing whether the Mingguan Malaysia report is true or not as well as call for Ezam's immediate and unconditional release.

- Lim Kit Siang -