He said: "If their contents warrant a warning, then we will serve them that warning."
The press reported that Abdullah was asked whether the Ministry had taken any action against Chinese dailies for stirring racial issues as the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad, in his winding-up speech at the 55th Umno general assembly blamed Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press for whipping up anti-government sentiment among the Chinese, resulting in Barisan Nasional’s defeat in the Lunas state seat by-election last November.
Abdullah explained that Ministry officials normally monitored the policies and reports of news organisations, and these included vernacular newspapers.
He said newspapers which played up controversial or sensitive reports were normally summoned by the Ministry. He said: "We will advise them to publish reports that are accurate and based on facts."
As very serious allegations have been made and are being circulated against Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press, Abdullah should state whether any newspaper, whether Chinese or non-Chinese, had been issued with warnings by the Home Ministry for having “deliberately incited hatred of the Chinese against the Government” (to use the words the Mahathir in his winding-up speech at the UMNO General Assembly) during the Lunas by-election.
Abdullah should be fair and frank, publicly owning up to the fact if no newspaper had been issued with any warning over their coverage of the Lunas by-election, or disclosing the identity of the newspapers, the number of times and the reasons they had been given warnings by the Home Ministry for their coverage of the Lunas by-election in fanning anti-government sentiments among the Chinese resulting in the Barisan Nasional defeat.