Thursday 12 May 2011

CM: Hisham must compel Utusan to retract report

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng wants the Home Ministry to compel Utusan Malaysia to retract its DAP-Christian conspiracy report and issue an apology.

NONELim said the weekly state exco meeting today decided to send a complaint to Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein to urge him to initiate stern action against the Umno-owned paper for its May 7 front-page report.

The two-page letter entitled 'Stern action against the false and malicious reporting by Utusan Malaysia on the purported conspiracy between the DAP and Christian pastors in Penang to establish a Christian state and to appoint a Christian prime minister' was faxed to Hishammuddin in Putrajaya today.

Lim said the report had been proven to be false following an admission by two Penang Umno assemblypersons that they do not believe the report to be true.

azlanThe duo - Hilmi Yahya (BN-Teluk Bahang) and Muhammad Farid Saad - also told the state legslative assembly yesterday that the paper is largely owned by Umno.

“The duo are the first two Umno men who have stated that they do not believe the veracity of the report, that it was false news,” Lim told a press conference in Komtar today.

“Others seem to believe it (to be) true,” he added, hinting at several ministers who have commented on the report without verifying it.

Lim reiterated that the state government supports freedom of the press, but that this does not extend to “freedom to slander or lie”.

He said citizens are allowed to hold differing views, even have opinions against the state government, but this should not be based on slander or lies.

'Unruly behaviour'
Lim then related an incident where local residents held a rally opposing an alternative road in Bagan that the state plans to build.

“They rallied against me on the issue of DAP plotting to establish a Christian state... they used harsh and filthy words which I cannot even mention here,” he said.

“This kind of unruly behaviour should not happen... this is not about freedom. I would accept it if they had rallied against me over the road issue.”

demonstration against lim guan eng 080511 shaikh hussein mydinLim, who is also DAP secretary-general, was referring to the rally on Sunday at which state Umno Youth chief Sheikh Hussein Mydin (in striped shirt) was present. A group of 40 people interrupted the road launch in Bagan.

Sheikh Hussein has denied that Umno masterminded the rally, saying the group who protested were residents of low-cost flats nearby.

Lim also expressed disappointment that Utusan has not retracted or apologised for its false report, which was based on unverified sources and postings in two pro-Umno blogs last Friday.

This was despite strong denials by the DAP and Christian groups that they are in no way involved is any plot to amend the constitution or to install a Christian prime minister.

“But since there are even Umno assemblypersons who express disbelief over the report, it is time stern action is taken against Utusan as the false news can threaten religious and racial harmony,” he said.

Lim believes the Malay daily intentionally fabricated the conspiracy to divert attention from the rise in petrol and sugar prices.

No comments:

Post a Comment