DAP to mobilise nation-wide opposition to the MCA takeover of Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press as it represents a grave threat to press freedom and the legitimate rights and interests of the Chinese community


Speech
- DAP 35th Anniversary Dinner 
by
Lim Kit Siang
 

(Teluk Intan, Saturday)DAP will  mobilise nation-wide opposition to the MCA takeover of Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press as it represents a grave threat to press freedom and the legitimate rights and interests of the Chinese community.

In riding roughshod over the strong objections of the Chinese community over the MCA takeover of the Nanyang Press Holdings Bhd which owns the two Chinese dailies, the MCA President Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik is  jeopardising the livelihood of the journalists and staffs of Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press as both run the risk of ending up like  the previous MCA newspaper,  Tong Bao, which folded up  after the MCA takeover when  its circulation plunged from 100,000 to 10,000 copies because it lost the  confidence of  the Chinese community.

Nation-wide opposition to the MCA takeover of Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press will not end just because Ling succeeded in circumventing MCA dissent and the objections of the trustees of  Huaren Holdings Sdn. Bhd. getting the deal signed and sealed even before the MCA Central Committee meeting on 30th May 2001, as the bottom-line of the nation-wide campaign merely changes from opposition to MCA takeover of the two Chinese dailies to demand for the MCA to relinquish its ownership stake in Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press.

Lingís claims  that the MCA takeover of the  two Chinese newspapers is a strictly business deal and has nothing to do with politics and  that MCA would respect the independence and professionalism of the journalists in the two newspapers  are not worth a sen, and this is why even MCA leaders and members themselves donít buy them.

I respect the professionalism and integrity of the journalists in Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press, but when the two newspapers have to operate under the dual jeopardy of serving the MCA masters and their higher authorities, whether UMNO or its proxies, there is no way the two newspapers can protect their professionalism, independence as  integrity of free, fair and responsible newspapers.

(2/6/2001)


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman