If NYSP believes in fair journalism, then let it publish in full my replies to the NYSP editorial in the last three days as well as my statement today


Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Petaling Jaya, Friday): For the third  day, Nanyang Siang Pau has blacked out my reply to its nasty and vicious Tuesday editorial   attacking the DAP entitled "DAP's self-created crisis", denying the DAP the right to reply.

The Nanyang Siang Pau also blacked out my press conference on Wednesday  demanding an explanation as to why it had come out with an editorial which is  even more ferocious and vicious in its attack on the DAP and the DAP leadership  than from our political opponents in the Barisan Nasional, whether UMNO, MCA or Gerakan.

It also blacked out my media statement yesterday asking the  "Black Hand" behind the Nanyang Siang Pau campaign to exploit the DAP crisis, destroy the  DAP and "kill Lim Kit Siang"  to step forward, reveal his identity or identities, justify this "black operation" and explain  what Nanyang Siang Pao hopes to achieve in destroying the  DAP and "killing" me politically.

 Not content with denying me the right to reply, NYSP today carried a rebuttal to me by its former Editor-in-Chief, justifying the nasty and vicious NYSP  editorial last Tuesday   attacking the DAP entitled "DAP's self-created crisis".

Is this the fair, independent and responsible journalism of NYSP, where after denying the DAP the right to reply to its most nasty and vicious editorial, it has carried another nasty and vicious onslaught on the DAP?

The former NYSP editor-in-chief has escalated the NYSP attack on the DAP by making more false and baseless allegations.

Firstly, he alleged that the DAP leadership wants to suppress "adverse news" about the DAP and cannot accept criticism.  Let NYSP give instances where the DAP leadership had tried to suppress "adverse news" about the DAP. What we ask is that there should be fair and responsible journalism.  The DAP leadership has always welcome criticism, fully aware that in public life, one must be ever prepared to be subject to public scrutiny and criticism - but we cannot accept irresponsible, baseless and malicious criticism.

Secondly, the former NYSP Editor-in-Chief tried to justify the nasty and vicious NYSP Editorial last Tuesday, writing:
 

Can NYSP really claim that it was justified to write the nasty and vicious editorial last Tuesday against the DAP on the ground that NYSP suspected that I was referring to NYSP when I complained against unfair coverage of the DAP crisis by "certain mass media", to justify the "wronged" to "shout the loudest"?

Let me quote from my media statement of 11th July, 1998, where I said:
 

Can NYSP in all truth and sincerity believe that I was referring to it when I pinpointed "certain mass media who devote daily extensive coverage to the DAPís internal problems, often times putting the DAP on the front page,  when previously they would black out all news about the DAP to the extent that the name 'Lim Kit Siang' is banned in reporting of parliamentary debates?"

I was definitely not referring to NYSP and nobody would have thought of NYSP as the target of my statement were certain English and Bahasa Malaysia newspapers.

The former NYSP editor-in-chief took offence that I had said that "certain mass media has degenerated to a stage where  what the Parliamentary Opposition Leader has to say, whether inside or outside Parliament, for the betterment of the Malaysian society or on behalf of the Malaysian people is never news enough to be reported, but any criticism or attack by any DAP malcontent, whether significant or otherwise, is instantly regarded as 'newsworthy' even fit for the  front-page!", and distorted it to mean an attack on NYSP as having never given coverage to my speeches in Parliament.

If the NYSP does not fit my description, and it was never intended for NYSP or any Chinese newspaper but certain mass media where the name "Lim Kit Siang" could be anathema whether for reporting of parliamentary debates or other reports, then the question is why the NYSP reacted as if it is  the primary  target?

Is it because of the guilty conscience of certain elements in NYSP who had never missed the opportunity to cause the greatest damage to the DAP at the most critical time, as happened in Penang just before the 1995 general elections?

Or is it because these elements in NYSP think this is a good occasion to declare an all-out war on the purported ground that I had maligned NYSP as being part of the "certain mass media" who had been responsible for unfair coverage of the DAP crisis?

I still cannot understand how NYSP can regard "an independent study on the unfair coverage of the DAP crisis by certain mass media" as the greatest threat to press freedom in the history of Malaysia for the NYSP to react in such a nasty and vicious manner, unless there is a hidden agenda and a "black hand" behind the NYSP's onslaught against the DAP to exploit the DAP crisis to destroy the DAP and "kill Lim Kit Siang".

If NYSP believes in fair journalism, then let it publish in full my replies to the NYSP editorial in the last three days as well as my statement today.

(17/7/98)


*Lim Kit Siang - Malaysian Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Democratic Action Party Secretary-General & Member of Parliament for Tanjong