Media Statement by Johore DAP Policy Director and Senai State Assemblyperson, Wong Shu Qi on 31 March 2014 (Monday):
Zahid’s excuses to deny printing permits for two news portals are illogical and groundless
Malaysians are now entering a new era of tyranny after the Najib’s cabinet failed to deliver his numerous promises on “transformation”.
The rejection of printing permits to FZ.com and Malaysiakini is the latest evidence that we Malaysians have to either change the federal leadership or accept the fact that we are led by an ineffective government.
It was widely reported by both online news portal and print media that the Home Ministry has rejected the permits application filed by FZ.com and Malaysiakini, based on the ground that there is already sufficient number of newspaper for the population.
Besides that, the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is quoted as accusing that the two news portals are producing “sensational and controversial news” that might confuse people.
First of all, the Home Ministry should first go after the tabloids which publish unconfirmed news especially with sensational elements that may cause greater negative impact towards the people.
If tabloids reporting baseless ghost stories or fabricated pieces are allowed to publish, there is no reason for the permits to not be granted to FZ.com and Malaysiakini since they have never confused readers with such fabricated and unfounded stories, unlike what the UMNO mouthpiece “Utusan Malaysia” often carry.
Secondly, Prime Minister Najib said five years ago, when he just took over the office, that “the era of the government knows best is over”; yet, the Home Minister is acting like he knows what is best for the people when it comes to reading material.
An open and developed society would never have enough publications, as knowledge and information provides strength to a nation. More publications lead to more open discourse and hopefully a healthy surrounding that encourages critical thinking.
With such groundless and illogical excuses to deny the printing permit applications of the two news portals; it only shows that the Barisan Nasional has no political will to carry on the transformation programs. Zahid and the Prime Minister Najib should clarify if the transformation promises are indeed broken again.
Wong Shu Qi