Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Journalists Restriction at the Parliament

Today is really a busy day but I find it necessary to write about this :
Jeff Ooi : Journalists cordoned off, in Parliament . Rocky's Bru reported this as well.

The Star wrote:
"On Friday, a press statement was issued from Parliament saying that only five journalists from each news organisation would be allowed in Parliament from yesterday. The Parliament administration stated that the limit was for security reasons."

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nazri said "“Five is more than enough. If five is not enough then something is wrong with you all. It shows you are not efficient. It’s as simple as that."

I was wondering why there was no further explanation on the reason of "security". All this while, the journalists have been doing the same thing without the limit. All of a sudden there is this issue about "security" after all these years? One cannot just simply mention a word (security) and assume that the people have to accept the decision no matter what it is. As a responsible person, it should be mentioned what constitutes of "security" that result in such a rule. For example, is there any threat from unknown people or something potentially dangerous that can be avoided by the implementation?

Nazri's statement confuses me on whether the rule are made due to "security reasons" or "improving the efficiency of journalists". Perhaps, it's both. Anyway, the former point has not been properly explained, therefore not acceptable while the latter point is lame.

I believe if there is any intention of any ministers to "improve the efficiency of journalists", ASSUMING it is a noble motive, the ministers should be reminded that this is not part of their portfolio . That is the job of the employers of the journalists. Ministers should be transparent and ready to answer questions from the press and public on policies and decisions. Freedom of press should not be restricted.

The justifications provided are not plausible to me. Malaysiakini has just reported
Media boycott over Parliament access by Beh Lih Yi Jun 24, 08 10:10am
"More than 100 journalists covering the ongoing Parliament sitting are staging a boycott after the Parliament administration restricted media access to the lobby and barricaded the area."

Unfortunately, I have to say I support the boycott. News is very important to me and I am not able to accept such restrictive rule. Considering the fact that the Parliament is controlled by the Federal Government, which is represented by Barisan Nasional, I would like to ask whether this would be the exemplary form of governance on media that will take place beyond the 100 days after PRU12.

If the answer is "yes", I would be very disappointed. I thought PRU12 inspires repentance and reforms in BN and I, as well as millions of hopeful Malaysians do not like to be disappointed.

1 comment:

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