Biased reporting on Ezam latest example of irresponsible and unethical journalism by mainstream media in Malaysia

Media statement
by Lim Kit Siang 

(Petaling Jaya, Friday): On Wednesday - the same day that the Malaysian mainstream mass media blacked out news of the first Malaysian journalist, Steven Gan to be awarded the International Press Freedom Award by the Committee to Protect Journalists, a New York-based journalist organisation dedicated to the defence of press freedom internationally - the mainstream mass media was stooping to a new low in their irresponsible and unethical journalism.

Today, the mainstream mass media was working up a froth and frenzy over Wednesday’s Utusan Malaysia front-page report purportedly quoting Parti Keadilan Nasional Youth leader Ezam Mohd Nor as admitting that the Keadilan leaders were engaged in an international campaign to smear  the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.

In today’s mainstream media, UMNO leaders vied with each other to denounce Ezam and Keadilan leaders, calling them "ungrateful and disloyal" while the Malacca Chief Minister branded  them as "traitors".  Even MCA National President, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik did not want to be excluded in the frenzy, "slamming" Ezam for "a very cowardly act".

It is very sad to see the mainstream mass media in Malaysia reaching a new low in unethical and irresponsible journalism to serve the political agenda of the powers-that-be, completely ignoring the denial of the Utusan Malaysia report made by Ezam which was published on the electronic media,
Malaysiakini, on Wednesday itself.

In the Malaysiakini report, Ezam denied that there was an international  campaign by Keadilan leaders to smear the Prime Minister.

He said his visits to the United States and Europe were on the invitation of Malaysians abroad or international groups who wanted to hear clarifications about developments in Malaysia and not a smear campaign as put out by Utusan Malaysia.

Would the mainstream media understand that their biased reporting on Ezam is the latest example of their irresponsible and unethical journalism and why they suffer from an unprecedented credibility crisis with the Malaysian people?


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman