red arrow 



Media Conference Statement by Lim Kit Siang in Ipoh on Friday, 1st May 2009 at 12 noon: 

Zambry should stop being a “caveman” Mentri Besar of Flintstones era and wake up to the age of Internet and new media

Two online media reports on the preparations taken by the usurper Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir for the illegally-convened May 7 Perak State Assembly meeting expose the mentality not only of the Perak Barisan Nasional leaders but also of the handful of civil servants acting in cahoots with them.

The Malaysian Insider in its report “New media rules for May 7 Perak assembly”, reported that only 13 media organisations will be allowed to cover the Perak State Legislative Assembly when it is held on May 7.

The Malaysian Insider reported:

A media notice was sent out by the state Information Department to several media companies yesterday informing them of the tightened security measures.

The notice stated that only 13 media groups in the list would be allowed to cover the entire duration of the assembly from May 7 to 13.

The 13 listed are television stations RTM and BernamaTV, TV3 and newspapers The Star, New Straits Times, Berita Harian, Utusan Malaysia, China Press, Sin Chew Daily, Nanyang Siang Pau, Tamil Namban, Tamil Nesan and national news agency Bernama.

The notice also limited the number of media workers to two people from each organisation: one reporter and the other a photographer.

The only exceptions made were to state-owned television stations RTM, BernamaTV and Umno-linked private station TV3, which are allowed to send in three people each.

Media organisations barred from covering the May 7 Perak State Assembly include Bahasa Malaysia papers like Sinar Harian, Metro, Kosmo; English daily the Sun, the Edge Financial Daily, the Malaysian Reserve; Chinese dailies like Guang Ming Daily, Kwong Wah Yit Poh, Oriental Daily; Tamil press like Makkal Osai; television stations like NTV7, NTV7 Chinese and 8TV Chinese.

All online media organisations are barred, including Malaysiakini, Malaysian Insider, The NutGraph, Merdeka Review, Therocknews, etc. All foreign agencies and media, whether Reuters, AFP, Associated Press, Bloomberg, Jiji Press, CNN, BBC and Al-Jazeera are also barred.

And a total ban on all bloggers!

Those responsible for such a disgraceful and reactionary press directive to bar all online media and foreign agencies, as well as many local print media betray the cave mentality and mindset of the stone age fearful of the light, exposure and the Internet.

Zambry and his press handlers do not understand how the media works, don’t care how the media operates, are mortally frightened of the media and even more so with regard to the Internet media.

Let me remind Zambry to stop being a “caveman” Mentri Besar of the Flintstones era and wake up to the age of the Internet and the new media.

The media restrictions of the usurper Zambry administration runs contrary to the public pledge of support for “a vibrant, free and informed media” made by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak in his first week in office.

Malaysiakini in its report “Perak state secretariat lockdown, again” reported that “Security would be severely tightened at the Perak state secretariat building during the crucial state assembly sitting next month, from May 6 until May 11”.

It states:

The state secretariat building, which houses the assembly hall and government offices, would be off-limits to members of the public during the duration.

Floors with access to the state assembly hall will also be off-limits to state secretariat staff that do not possess special permission.

The police would be cordoning off the building, while only a small number of journalists and three television crews would be allowed to cover assembly proceedings, which starts on May 7.

This is the second lockdown in three months. The first was to prevent an emergency sitting called by speaker V Sivakumar from being convened, resulting in the sitting being held under the now famous ‘democracy tree'.

Only three days ago, Najib was talking about revamp of the civil service and to hire “the best of the best in talent and expertise for the sake of the people”, but in Perak we are seeing the bane of having “the worst of the worst” in scraping the bottom of the barrel when top civil servants in the state blatantly compromise their most important qualities of political neutrality and impartiality.

Why has the Perak State Secretary Abdul Rahman Hashim issued the directive to lockdown the State Secretariat and the State Assembly for next week’s State Assembly meeting, turning the State Assembly into a security prison, as if the whole area has become a “war zone”?

Yes, there is a three-month old political and constitutional crisis and stalemate in Perak, complicated by the nightmare faced by the usurper Mentri Besar and his State Exco as to how to remove the most famous Speaker in the Commonwealth, the Perak Speaker V. Sivakumar.

The reason why the Zambry administration is confronted with the conundrum of how to remove the Perak Speaker is very simple and basic – the illegitimate origin of Zambry’s take-over as MB, as it is the result of an unethical, undemocratic, illegal and unconstitutional power grab which have sullied the credibility and legitimacy of Najib as Prime Minister and the international reputation of the country as a democracy.

But how Zambry is to resolve the problem to remove the Perak Speaker is a matter to be resolved by the political leaders, in particular the Perak State Assembly members, as it is no business of the government servants whether the Perak state secretary or a renegade Perak State Assembly clerk to get into the political battleground to try to help Zambry consolidate his illegal grab for power.

If extra security measures should be taken when the Perak State Assembly meets, it should be the decision of the Speaker or at least in consultation with him. But this was never done whether by the Perak State Secretary or the renegade Perak Assembly clerk.

If there should be a directive on media coverage of the Perak State Assembly, it should come from the Perak Speaker or it is a contempt of the Speaker’s powers to usurp his powers to regulate the proceedings of the State Assembly.

*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor



Valid HTML 4.0 Transitional