Even more shocking than KJ’s aide giving the Malaysiakini report the boot is…

The Malaysiakini report “KJ’s aide gives M’kini the boot” is most shocking, but I find a greater shock when I read the report.

The Malaysiakini reporter was asked to leave a Youth and Sports Ministry event in Putrajaya today, and the person who gave the marching orders was the Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin's aide, who had solicited questions from reporters before a press conference.

Following this, the aide returned to the reporters' desk and asked the Malaysiakini reporter to leave the venue.

The aide said: "I apologise. YB does not want to answer questions from Malaysiakini, nor are you allowed to be here.

"I have to ask you to leave. I apologise."

This was indeed most shocking, and doubly shocking is that it should come from Khairy Jamaluddin, the UMNO/Barisan Nasional’s icon for the Malaysian youths of today, representing the new hopes of the young generation for fresh air, openness, tolerance, freedom and justice – someone who had wanted to be Prime Minister before he was 40 years old!

But what was trebly shocking was the following paragraph in the Malaysiakini report:

“The practice of press secretaries or aides approaching reporters for questions before press conferences by government officials is not unusual in Malaysia.”

I have been in politics in Malaysia for 52 years but this is the first time I have heard of such a pernicious and disgraceful pre-media conferences practised by UMNO/BN Ministers and leaders!

Who invented such a pernicious and disgraceful practice and when did it begin?

Fortunately, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak dared not “export” such a disgraceful and pernicious practice to Washignton, requiring the White House press corps to submit questions they wish to ask him if he had a media conference at the Rose Garden of the White House when he visited White House and met US President Donald Trump on Sept. 12, 2017.

I do not know what would have happened if Najib had tried to impose such an abominable pre-media conference practice on the White House press corps requiring the White House journalists to submit questions they wish to raise with him at the White House media conference to prior censorship.

But I shudder at such a thought, and am thoroughly shocked that the Malaysian press has agreed to such an abominable practice of agreeing to a censorship of the questions they wished to ask as at Ministerial press conferences.

Of course, the question or questions which the Malaysiankini reporter had wished to raise with Khairy, but which led to the “eviction order” by Khairy’s aide, piqued everyone’s interest!

Would the Minister for Communications and Multimedia, Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak announce the abolition of such disgraceful and abominable practices of pre-censorship of questions to be put by journalists to Ministers at their media conferences?

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah