Media Conference Statement by Lim Kit Siang at Hulu Selangor by-election Kuala Kubu Baru DAP ops centre on Friday, 23rd April 2010:
Press censorship of ntv7 talk show involving Prime Minister’s wife Rosmah resulting in resignation of senior producer Joshua Wong must be deplored by all Malaysians as an undesirable and dangerous precedent
The press censorship of popular hour-long ntv7 talk show “Editor’s Time” involving the Prime Minister’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor resulting in the resignation of senior producer Joshua Wong must be deplored by all Malaysians as an undesirable and dangerous precedent.
Two important issues and principles are involved in this scandal and fiasco.
Firstly, media censorship. When Datuk Seri Najib Razak became Prime Minister a year ago, he promised the country an open, accountable and transparent government as well as a free press.
The press censorship of ntv7 popular talk show is a flagrant violation of Najib’s pledges on his assumption of the sixth premiership in the country.
The media censorship and restrictions on the ntv7 talk show includes:
I fully agree with Joshua that these restrictions of the ntv7 talk show are completely unjustifiable as they “threatened the independence of my job as producer” and “a form of self-censorship, which is against the principle of fair and independent reporting”.
Joshua said “these restrictions have seriously affected the professionalism of the producing team”.
Such media censorship and restriction by the Najib administration is completely unacceptable and intolerable at a time when Malaysia is trying to escape the “middle income trap” with a national transition to become a high-income developed country with all the attributes of successful high-achieving developed countries – an important aspect of which is media freedom.
Secondly, the involvement of the Prime Minister’s wife in the media censorship of ntv7 talk show resulting in the resignation of Joshua Wong, which is the first time in the nation’s history where the wife of the Prime Minister intervenes in public and governmental affairs.
Is she acting as if she has become the de facto Information Minister!
The Prime Minister’s wife should stay clear of politics and public affairs. Nobody says that Rosmah has no right to be involved in politics or governmental affairs, but if that is her interest, then let her enter the political arena and get elected to Parliament on her own right with a proper mandate for her actions.
She should not abuse and misuse her position and influence as the Prime Minister’s wife to improperly intervene and inferfere in government and public affairs.
DAP through our Senators will raise and highlight the protest resignation of Joshua because of unjustifiable media censorship and restriction in the Senate next week.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor