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Media Statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Monday, 4th May 2009: 

Star! Oh Star! At least be a smart party hack!

Yesterday the MCA paper, the Star, gave prominent coverage to the challenge by MCA Vice President and Health Minister, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, that I clearly state my stand on the Cabinet’s recent decision that minors follow the common religion of their parents at the time of marriage when one spouse opts to convert.

In the Star report headlined “State stand on religion ruling, DAP told”, Liow even said that I am at odds with the DAP National Chairman Karpal Singh over the matter on the ground that Karpal had clearly stated his support for the Cabinet’s decision, implying that I had opposed the Cabinet decision.

When I replied to Liow, Star just blacked out my response.

Reason? Because Liow would be shown to be a fool who does not understand simple English as I expressed support for the Cabinet decision in several statements on my blog.

Either Liow has a big problem with the English language, in which case he should undergo a quick refresher course so as not to disgrace the government and country when he appears in the official capacity as Health Minister whether inside or outside the country, or he is downright dumb.

If he is neither, and had been misled by untrustworthy aides to issue such a challenge, then he should know what to do to salvage the situation.

My offer to give Liow a free tutorial on the English language stands.

By blacking out my statement and refusing to accord me the right to respond to the irresponsible and baseless challenge from Lai, which it had given prominent coverage, the Star has gone against all canons of responsible and professional journalism and made a mockery of the World Press Freedom Day yesterday,

The overwhelming majority of the Star journalists are honourable and self-respecting men and women who do not agree with such prostitution of sacred journalistic principles.

Let me advise those responsible for the blackout of my reply to Lai – at least be a smart party hack!

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



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