Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Najib Must Ask Utusan To Apologise

Utusan Malaysia has continued its campaign to slander and libel Pakatan Rakyat leaders and in particular, the DAP with baseless allegations and insinuations with the specific intent to poison the minds of its readers and sow the seeds of racial hatred.

In a report earlier, Utusan Malaysia quoted a Mohd. Zahid Md. Arip who tried to implicate DAP as being connected, even if remotely to the ghastly murders of Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and 3 others. The report in its final 2 paragraphs wrote:
Dalam pada itu, Mohd. Zahid mempersoalkan kenapa DAP langsung tidak bersuara bagi mengutuk pembunuhan kejam tersebut, sedangkan sebelum ini parti berkenaan gah mendakwa organisasi mereka sebagai sebuah parti yang memperjuangkan hak semua pihak.

"Apakah tindakan membisu ini mempunyai kaitan dengan dakwaan yang mengatakan bahawa suspek utama adalah ahli seumur hidup parti tersebut. Jika benar (dakwaan itu), ternyata DAP sebuah parti hipokrit yang hanya memperjuangkan kepentingan kaum tertentu sahaja," katanya.
First of all, the question of DAP not condemning the murders does not arise. The party condemns all crimes, much more so heinous crimes such as the above and we have been at the forefront both in and outside parliament to call for the Royal Malaysian Police to increase their efficiency and effectiveness in fighting crime in this country. It is however the Barisan Nasional government who has been extremely pleased with the crime situation in Malaysia which has escalated to record levels before declining recently according to official government statistics.

Secondly and more importantly, it is a disgusting attempt by the Umno-owned newspaper to insinuate and allege through its “news” report that the murder suspects are life-members of DAP, with no attempt at all to confirm the veracity of the allegations. We would like to put the record straight that both the suspects, Pathmanabhan Nalliannen and Surendran Nalliannen, are not members of the party at any point of time.

However, even if they were a member of a political party, whether the DAP or BN, the political affiliation have absolutely no relation whatsoever to the heinous crime which they are alleged to have committed. A crime is a crime, and even Umno has its own leader who has been found guilty for murder.

The unethical and downright unscrupulous attempt by Utusan Malaysia to use any and every opportunity to slander and publish lies about the DAP with the sole intent to incite racial hatred among its largely Malay readers signifies the utter desperation of the Umno leaders to maintain its hold on power, even if it were to mean using immoral means. In recent weeks, Utusan has headlined inflammatory and slanderous stories such as “Nama Guan Eng ganti Agong” and alleging that the MP for Serdang, Teo Nie Ching had delivered a religious sermon in a surau, which were all based on manipulated lies.

Despite that obvious, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak has repeated defended Utusan Malaysia. In September 18 last year, he had at a breaking fast function at Sri Utusan Printing Complex hailed Utusan for “ethical and unbiased” reporting. Just earlier this month, he told the public while breaking fast at The New Straits Times headquarters to “trust the mainstream media and not the alternative media which are based on half truths.”

The Government Transformation Plan (GTP) launched by the Prime Minister himself has called for an “all-inclusive 1Malaysia media” which will “instil and internalise a commitment to journalistic professionalism” to prevent writers from “abusing the greater freedom of expression now available to
use terms and express feelings that are racist or inflammatory in nature and tone”.

Instead of just expressing his “sadness” on the “rise of extremism” in the country without naming those guilty of the so-called “extremism”, Datuk Seri Najib should openly reprimand parties who repeatedly lie and slander to harness the feelings of ill-will and extremism among the rakyat, especially Umno's own Utusan Malaysia. The Prime Minister's failure to act will not only mean blanket approval for Utusan to continue its reckless actions against the DAP and Pakatan Rakyat, but it will also mean the height of irresponsibility by jettisoning of his own “1Malaysia” goal.

To protect the good name of the party, the DAP is left with no choice by to instruct its lawyers to review this latest defamatory report and take all necessary actions against Utusan Malaysia, including suing the newspaper for damages in the court of law.
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