Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, 3rd January 2011:
Utusan Malaysia a daily reminder of the hollowness and hypocrisy of Najib’s 1Malaysia concept as the UMNO newspaper continues to peddle lies and poison to incite strife and hatred in Malaysia’s plural society
Utusan Malaysia is a daily reminder of the hollowness and hypocrisy of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia concept as the Umno newspaper continues to peddle lies and poison to incite strife and hatred in Malaysia’s plural society.
Najib’s 1Malaysia talks about embracing “our diversity of ethnicity, religions and beliefs and, by being inclusive, build mutual respect and acceptance into a solid foundation of trust and cohesiveness” but Utusan Malaysia is doing the very opposite every day with its staple of lies and falsehoods.
The 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme Roadmap released in January last year advocated the promotion of “an all-inclusive 1Malaysia media” and warned of the danger of greater national divisions and disunity when “some writers abuse the greater freedom of expression now available to use terms and feelings that are racist or inflammatory in nature and tone”.
“While censorship is antithetical to democracy, there is a need to introduce, instill and internalize a commitment to journalistic professionalism, a sense of responsibility and self-restraint, with sensitivity to the divergent views and feelings of the diverse communities in Malaysia.”
Unfortunately, this “commitment to journalistic professionalism, a sense of responsibility and self-restraint, with sensitivity to the divergent views and feelings of the diverse communities in Malaysia” is completely absent in Utusan Malaysia, which have become even more irresponsible and unprofessional in the past year, peddling lies, falsehoods and poison to incite strife and hatred in our plural society.
A good example is the irresponsible editorial by Awang Selamat in Mingguan Malaysia yesterday repeating the lie that the DAP wants to abolish the Malay sultanate system to create a republic.
DAP had, whether on its own or as part of Pakatan Rakyat, or previously Barisan Alternative in 1999 and Gagasan Rakyat in 1990 policy pronouncements declared and reaffirmed its commitment to upholding the fundamental features of the Malaysian Constitution including the system of constitutional monarchy.
Utusan Malaysia is guilty of the height of journalistic irresponsibility and total lack of professionalism in peddling the lie and poison that DAP wants to abolish the system of Malay rulers to establish a republic. Even worse, Utusan Malaysia will be guilty of the worst crime of treason to the nation and people of Malaysia in trying to incite disunity, strife and hatred in our plural society.
Najib, Umno and Barisan Nasional leaders cannot continue to be indifferent to Utusan Malaysia’s open incitement of hatred and strife in our plural society, not only because it makes a total mockery of Najib’s 1Malaysia concept, but even more important, in undermining and destroying all efforts to create a united, cohesive, just, prosperous and competitive Malaysia that can take its rightful place in the global community.its other GTP and NKRA programmes, whether fighting corruption, enhancing education or reducing poverty.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor