Sunday, June 10, 2012
Guan Eng is anti-Press freedom!
However, DAP's chief minister Lim Guan Eng, despite his full backing for 'freedom of the Press', is just another 'cakap tak serupa bikin'.
LGE's move to bar certain media outlets that have been critical of his administration is a retrograde move that threatens the freedom of expression in Penang.
The State Government’s cavalier attitude towards media freedom which seeks to exclude those who are critical of them and only include those who publish favourable reports is most unbecoming of a state government that professes to be competent, accountable and transparent.
This is the counter-article written by Koh's special officer Ivanpal S Grewal in response to a Malaysia Chronicle's Ng Wei Aik who battered Barisan Nasional Chairman of Penang, Teng Chang Yeow over LGE's intolerance for media outlets that criticised him.
"This is yet another mischievous attempt by the State Government and the governing coalition in Penang to deflect criticisms and scrutiny of their actions by demonising Barisan Nasional and its component parties," Ivanpal wrote.
"The Chief Minister and his administration should in fact respond to criticisms with truth and reason, and not resort to undemocratic methods such as banning media outlets from state government events.
"It is ironic because as the Federal Government proceeds with its political transformation programme which includes granting of greater freedom to the media, the State Government of Penang is moving in a diametrically opposite direction by seeking to muzzle the press.
"For a party that claims to be a champion media freedom, the Democratic Action Party has shown itself to be intolerant of any criticism to the extent it has justified the banning of Utusan Malaysia and New Straits Times as a purported act of self-defence.
"I find it hard to fathom this justification. The Federal Government and other Barisan Nasional controlled State Governments have never resorted to banning any media outlets from covering them as such measures are ineffective and counter-productive despite many media outlets, especially the electronic media, being exceptionally critical at times.
"Former Chief Minister of Penang, Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon in his 18 years as Chief Minister never banned any media outlet from covering his administration despite adverse and critical reports because he has always believed and continues to believe in the importance of a free press."