(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday): I have sent strong protests to the New Straits Times and the Star for denying me the right to reply to MCA President and Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik’s challenge to me on the Islamic state issue.
Yesterday, (February 9, 1999), the New Straits Times carried a report on Liong Sik’s statement under the heading "Ling raises poser on Kit Siang’s stand" while the Star gave an 11-paragraph report under the heading "DAP-PAS pact will not last" where Liong Sik challenged me to state my stand on the Islamic state issue.
However, my two-page statement was completely blacked out by both the New Straits Times and the Star, which goes against all journalistic ethics and fair play.
I hope that with my strong protests sent to them today, both New Straits Times and the Star would tomorrow carry my reply to Liong Sik.
The Star was most dishonest today when instead of carrying my reply to Liong Sik, it tried to further the MCA cause by slanting a statement by Gagasan Demokrasi co-ordinating chairman Tian Chua commenting on Liong Sik’s statement.
The Star used as its heading for the report "Tian Chua defends PAS bid to set up an Islamic state". The underlying political slant and motive is very clear - to send out the message that as Tian Chua defends the PAS bid to set up an Islamic state, this tantamounts to the Gagasan Demokrasi, and by implication the DAP which is a member of the Gagasan Demokrasi, defending PAS on the Islamic state - which is a short step from DAP supporting the Islamic State of PAS.
This is very dishonest and violates all journalistic ethics and I hope the Star would have the decency to publish this statement, together with my statement yesterday, to put the record straight in response to Liong Sik’s challenge.