What is Zam’s motive?

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What is Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin raving about? He doesn’t seem to understand the essence of Datuk Seri Lim Keng Yaik’s point, so how can he appreciate a good comment?

Keng Yaik commended theSun “for being ‘Malaysian’ in its report and for not playing on communal sentiments”. He wondered, “Is there any Malaysian press where we can talk as Malaysians and as Bangsa Malaysia? Is there any?”

He answered his question by stating that such a press was theSun! Keng Yaik remarked that “it would not augur well for the nation if all the newspapers resorted to reporting based on racial sentiments”. That was all that was reported in theSun

Yet Zainuddin has no qualms in concocting all kinds of nonsense and twisting what was actually said and reported to give sinister insinuations to condemn theSun. He assumes too many things and attributes things that were never intended or stated. This only exposes him as a cheap politician who recklessly says anything to score a political point. That is revolting!

Where is the basis for his statement, "To say that theSun newspaper is a champion of Bangsa Malaysia shows that Dr Lim Keng Yaik sympathises with the newspaper which has all this while fought more for (the DAP's) 'Malaysian Malaysia'”? Keng Yaik never said that theSun newspaper is a champion of Bangsa Malaysia. All he said was that theSun provided space “where we can talk as Malaysians and as Bangsa Malaysia.”

The fact theSun provided so much space for Zainuddin’s infantile outburst to lambast theSun goes to show that this newspaper is open to civilised public debate on issues that matter to concerned Malaysians. Hopefully, he is capable of appreciating this fact.

We demand to know: Is Zainuddin against Bangsa Malaysia? Isn't that what we are supposed to achieve in 2020? Is Zainuddin trying to change Vision 2020 to something else?

“In many issues,” he claims, “theSun newspaper has touched on matters that offend the Malays, including the special rights of the Malays, the New Economic Policy (NEP), the social contract among the races that was agreed upon before Merdeka and also the question of unity in the society.”

He doesn’t provide any instances to substantiate his outlandish claims but just blabbers on. It is people of his ilk who are a danger to the harmony and peace that we enjoy. They muddy the water and paint those who speak up with a dirty brush in order to smear and sneer. They are nothing but mischief-makers bent on distorting facts.

Zainuddin accused the newspaper of often blowing up issues that contradict the Federal Constitution besides “publishing statements that oppose and question the government’s action to suspend the Makal Osai newspaper recently”.

Surely when things are done contrary to the Federal Constitution, it is the patriotic duty of a conscientious newspaaper to highlight the wrong so that it can be righted. Otherwise a wrong will go unnoticed and uncorrected and a grave injustice will be perpetrated. Surely, he must understand this simple logic.

Zainuddin cannot pretend that government decisions are sacrosanct and beyond reproach or question. He seems to display all the tendencies of a despot in trying to suggest that the government cannot be held accountable for its action. Zainuddin, it would appear, only wants newspapers to be the mouth-piece of the government. He seems to abhor any discussion of critical issues of concern in the newspapers. He would rather keep the citizens either in the dark or ill-informed. It is a misnomer to call him Minister of Information. It would be more appropriate to address him as Minister of Disinformation.

Zainuddin may choose to ignore reality – that is his privilege. But Malaysians know and recognise theSun as a newspaper that upholds the principles of ethical journalism. It provides space for various views and vigorous discussions of issues. It exposes abuses and corruption in a persistent manner which is refreshing and stimulating. It lives up to its motto: Telling it as it is.

It is in recognition of this role that Aliran in 2005 paid a public tribute to theSun: “It took a great deal of courage to break out of this mould and do what you did. In doing so, you stand out as a newspaper that can and will uphold the highest standard of ethical journalism, that is, to report the truth and to be fair in your reporting.”

We reaffirm these sentiments and dismiss Zainuddin’s remarks as the ranting of a misinformed recalcitrant.


P Ramakrishnan

President

30 August 2007

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