Challenge to Zainuddin Maidin to a public debate to defend the unfair, dishonest, unethical, tendentious and malicious Barisan Nasional propaganda feature “Bahaya Cauvinisme” camouflaged as prime time television news
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Monday): The recently-promoted Deputy Information Minister, Datuk Zainuddin Maidin yesterday sought to defend the three-part Barisan Nasional propaganda feature “Bahaya Cauvinisme” camouflaged as prime-time news on public television consecutively for three days from November 16 to 18, by claiming that it was a collective responsibility of the Information Ministry, including the Information Minister, Tan Sri Khalil Yaakob.
This can be no excuse or justification for the abuse of RTM, a public property, to serve the partisan interests of Barisan Nasional by broadcasting “Bahaya Cauvinisme”, which is a most unfair, dishonest, unethical, tendentious and malicious attack on DAP and Dong Jiao Zong by defaming them with inflammatory and baseless accusations of being extremist and chauvinist and insinuations of being “unpatriotic, anti-national and anti-Malay”.
In fact, Zainuddin’s statement yesterday is proof that he had forgotten all journalistic ethics and principles, in particular the maxim that “opinion is free but facts are sacred”.
Although Zainuddin had once been hailed as “a giant of Malaysian journalism”, it is now clear that in his Information Ministry post, he sees no distinction between news and propaganda.
It is most unbelievable that Zainuddin could claim that what he is doing in the Information Ministry is no different from what he was doing as a journalist in the past.
I do not know whether he is confessing to being a propagandist in his journalist days.
If Zainuddin claims that he is now still performing the functions of a journalist in the Information Ministry, then Hitler’s Nazi Propaganda Minister, Joseph Goebbels must be the greatest German and European journalist in history.
If Zainuddin has not abandoned all journalistic ethics and principles, he would respect the right to reply of DAP and Dong Jiao Zong to the biased, tendentious and vicious propaganda feature “Bahaya Cauvinisme” with a television feature response of our own. Why is Zainuddin keeping completely silent on the DAP’s demand to the right to respond to “Bahaya Cauvnisme” on public television?
I challenge Zainuddin Maidin to a public debate to defend the unfair, unethical, tendentious and malicious propaganda feature “Bahaya Cauvinisme” camouflaged as prime time television news – but I do not expect him to accept the challenge as he should know better than anyone that there is no way he or anyone can justify the blatant and unfair propaganda, the vicious distortion of history or the dishonest use of video clips, particularly in the holy month of Ramadan.
Apart from dishonest innuendos and political slanders, there are also many factual distortions and misrepresentations in the propaganda feature “Bahaya Cauvnisme”.
The last thing Zainuddin wants is a public debate and scrutiny of the propaganda feature to expose these gross misrepresentations and factual errors apart from the political slanders and character-assassinations in “Bahaya Cauvinisme”.
DAP will not allow Zainuddin to get away with impunity with such unfair, dishonest, unethical, tendentious and malicious propaganda and gross abuse of government resources like the RTM for the Barisan Nasional partisan interest.
If Zainuddin is not prepared to accept a public debate to justify the unscrupulous and unethical propaganda feature, DAP will organize public meetings up and down the country show a video recording of “Bahaya Cauvinisme” to expose his unfair, dishonest and malicious propaganda tricks over RTM. We will invite Zainuddin to the launching of this nation-wide series of “Expose RTM as blatant and unethical Barisan Nasional propaganda tool” people’s awareness campaign.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman