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Who lied? Zam or Pak Lah?
(Parliament, Tuesday): Who lied? Was it the Information Minister, Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin or the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi himself?
On Friday, 6th October 2007, speaking at the Gerakan National Delegates Conference, Abdullah called on “leaders, especially those in Barisan Nasional” to tell him the truth and to stop “are in a state of denial”.
“Tell the truth, even if it is painful.”
Four days later, on Wednesday 10th October 2007, Information Minister Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin summoned top media editors to a special briefing and in the name of the Prime Minister, laid down the law that
It is a reflection of the deplorable state of press freedom in Malaysia that no mainstream media had protested or written about Zainuddin’s violation of a free press, especially under a Prime Minister who had pledged greater openness, accountability, transparency, integrity and good governance!
In fact, Zainuddin’s summoning of the top media editors to direct them what to print and what not to print would be completely unthinkable in the past 50 years of the nation’s development, as no Information Minister would have such temerity to regard himself as the Comptroller-General of the Press.
One of two things would have happened if any former Information Minister had done what Zainuddin did last Wednesday:
But neither one of these two things happened – and if not for Malaysiakini’s expose in last Friday’s report, the Malaysian public would have continued to be kept in the dark about the spreading tentacles to stifle press freedom in the Abdullah administration.
Almost four years ago, when he first became Prime Minister, Abdullah had made his first call to be told the truth.
Speaking at the opening of the MIC branch chairmen convention on November 9, 2003, Abdullah told Barisan Nasional component party leaders and members to give him correct information to enable the government to respond appropriately to the people’s needs.
Had Abdullah been telling a lie in the past four years or was it Zainuddin who had lied.
Malaysians are entitled to an immediate answer from the Prime Minister.