(Penang, Sunday): I was told that I appeared on television and radio yesterday announcing that the Alternative Front candidate for the Lunas by-election will be from the DAP.
This report was also carried in the local press today, with the Star for instance, in its report under the heading "DAP gets to contest Lunas seat", stating:
I had never made any confirmation with any reporter that the Barisan Alternative candidate for the Lunas candidate is from the DAP. In fact, I did not visit Lunas yesterday and have yet to visit to Lunas, which I planned tonight. I was in Petaling Jaya yesterday and in Teluk Intan last night for a DAP function, returning to Petaling Jaya in the early hours of the morning. This morning I flew from the KLIA to Penang.
These false reports have however created storms in the Barisan Alternative as any comment or confirmation by me or any Barisan Alternative leader would be going against the Barisan Alternative Leaders’ Council decision that official announcement of the Barisan Alternative candidate for Lunas would only be made today or tomorrow.
I have checked and found that Bernama was the source of these fictitious reports, which filed the following report yesterday:
KULIM, Nov 18 (Bernama) -- The Alternative Front candidate for the Lunas by-election will be from the DAP, the party's chairman Lim Kit Siang announced on Saturday.
"’It has been confirmed that a DAP candidate will contest against the Barisan Nasional," he told reporters after visiting the DAP operations room in Taman Sang Kancil near here.
"Lim declined to name the candidate but a party source said Penang state committee member S.Neelamekan, who lives in Lunas, would be fielded.
"Lim said he would introduce the opposition candidate to voters at the party operations room at 8pm tomorrow."
I will be lodging an official complaint to the Bernama Board of Directors under the Bernama Act against the most unethical, immoral and unprofessional journalism in this case, for which the Bernama reporter concerned as well as the Bernama Chairman and Managing Director should bear full responsibility.
Bernama has brought disgrace to Malaysian journalism for descending to the lowest depths of unethical, immoral and irresponsible journalism by a total concoction of a news story and comments by a political leader.
It would be most unfortunate if the Lunas by-election results in a major Barisan Alternative crisis.
I do not want to comment on the resignation of the Keadilan Nasional vice president Tian Chua on the issue of the Barisan Alternative candidate for the Lunas by-election, but his statement attacking me for giving greater priority to party interest than to the people’s interest is not only unfair and untrue, but a most unwarranted and unhealthy practice which can only aggravate a Barisan Alternative crisis.
The various one-sided and untrue accounts of the meetings of Barisan Alternative leaders’ council is also most unfortunate, destroying confidentiality of meetings and deliberations of Barisan Alternative leaders’ council.
For instance, it is totally untrue that DAP representatives said that as both a DAP or Keadilan candidate in Lunas by-election had no chance of winning, the seat should be contested by DAP. DAP, and I believe any other BA party, would contest the Lunas by-election to win, and although the by-election would be a uphill battle, victory would not be impossible as borne out by the Teluk Intan by-election in May 1997.
I do not wish to divulge what transpired at the Barisan Alternative leaders’ council meetings which could only destroy the Barisan Alternative but only to state that the many versions which are now being reported are untrue and total figments of the imagination - as for instance, that the DAP had threatened at the Barisan Alternative leaders’ meetings that it would break from the Barisan Alternative if a DAP candidate was not selected.
I hope good sense would prevail and that the Lunas by-election would
not lead to a Barisan Alternative crisis.