(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:
"As expected, Lim Kit Siang in his statement today alleging that 'certain Chinese newspaper has declared war on DAP' said ' I am doubly surprised that it is that Chinese newspaper rather than certain English and Bahasa Malaysia newspapers which I had meant which had reacted most vehemently'. What is there to be surprised? Don't you know that it is the person who is wronged who shout the loudest? If I say that 'certain' DAP leaders take Barisan Nasional money, Lim Kit Siang's vehement reaction is to be expected, because he had been wronged."
Let me quote from my media statement of 11th July, 1998, where I said:
"Such a commissioned study would also be asked to find out what is the 'agenda' of 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?
"Furthermore, such extensive news coverage for the DAP is not on what the DAP leaders are advocating for Malaysia in the national movement for justice, freedom, democracy and good governance, but on the attacks, abuses and insinuations hurled at the DAP leadership by certain DAP malcontents.
"In other words, press freedom for 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!
"For the sake of developing a honest, fair and responsible press in Malaysia, it is important that such abuses of press freedom should be brought to public light and knowledge."
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.