(Penang, Friday): DAP proposes to commission an independent study on the unfair coverage of the current DAP crisis by certain mass media which appear to be serving certain agendas.
I had previously complained that there appears to be an agenda in certain mass media to perpetuate the impression that there can be no room for criticism, dissent and differences of opinion in the DAP by publishing false and misleading reports about the DAP, distorting statements made by DAP leaders and refusing to give DAP leaders fair space to rebut such allegations.
There also appears to be an agenda in certain mass media to perpetuate the impression that the recent DAP crisis is because the party leadership, especially myself, is opposed to party reforms, that I want the DAP to remain unchanged as in the past 32 years, when in fact, the present DAP leadership had undertaken a programme of party reform, renewal and rejuvenation after the 1995 Party Congress and the recent DAP crisis is precisely because of resistance to party reforms rather than lack of party reforms.
There also appears to be an agenda in certain mass media to try to create the impression that there is nepotism in the DAP in connection with Lim Guan Eng and myself by refusing to give fair and equal space to rebut these baseless and irresponsible allegations.
There also appears to be an agenda in certain mass media to create the impression that the DAP has been completely paralysed by the DAP crisis by refusing to give fair reporting to the numerous important political initiatives which the DAP had taken, especially in the past three months, whether it be to highlight the problems of Malaysians as a result of the year-long economic crisis; the scourge of KKN - corruption, cryonism and nepotism; the fight to protect the RM160 billion funds of the nine million EPF contributors; demanding higher standards of government performance which is sorely lacking as highlighted by colossal mismanagement resulting in the three-month long water shortage crisis in the Klang Valley and the catastrophic chaos and mess on the first day and first week of the operations of the RM9 billion Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA); or in the national movement for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance.
In fact, one wonders whether certain mass media are not being used to serve the agenda of certain Barisan Nasional parties to try to destroy the DAP so that we will not become such a threat to them in the next general elections, which is generally expected to be quite bad for them.
The study the DAP wishes to commission will also compare the mass media coverage of the various party crisis and problems faced by other political parties, especially Barisan Nasional parties like UMNO, MCA, Gerakan, MIC, etc.
Everybody knows that UMNO for instance presently face internal crisis and problems which are a thousand or ten-thousand fold than those faced by the DAP, but has there been fair coverage of the UMNO troubles and problems as compared to the coverage given to the DAP - and whether there are writers and commentators who have been so free with their comments, oftentimes misguided and one-sided on the DAP crisis as on the UMNO crisis?
At a time when Malaysians should be standing up for greater democratisation and a freer press, the mass media must be fair, independent and responsible.
I readily admit that the DAP is under a great test and is on trial, but the Malaysian mass media are also under a great test and on trial as to whether they are fair, responsible and independent.
I hope all the mass media concerned can give their full co-operation when such a study on the unfair coverage of the DAP crisis is conducted, so that there could be a true and proper mirror on local mass media and help them to be free, fair, independent and responsible and do not serve the agenda of certain Barisan Nasional parties or personalities to exploit troubles in opposition parties to try to destroy them or undermine their credibility and standing.