KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) – Barisan Nasional (BN) Backbenchers yesterday lashed out at claims by the opposition that the print and electronic media in this country are biased and only run stories about the government.
The opposition had also claimed that press freedom in Malaysia was controlled and that Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) only reported news which supported the government.
Pontian MP Datuk Ahmad Maslan said the allegations were baseless as RTM was now more open among others airing Parliament sessions in 90-minute live telecasts since July last year.
“Never in Malaysian broadcasting history has the government allocated airtime like this. Giving airtime for questions from BN and opposition MPs, but they (the opposition) use the time to hit out at the government,” he told reporters at Parliament’s lobby.
He added that the opposition had several media and independent channels to disseminate information but did not report anything positive about the government.
“There is no need to accuse when they themselves have not themselves never highlighted what the government does,” said Ahmad, who is also Deputy Finance Minister.
Putatan MP Datuk Dr Marcus Makin Mojigoh said the opposition did not respect or appreciate the opportunities given by the government.
He said the government was always fair, but even if the opposition was not satisfied, they should not make accusations which would confuse the people.
“There is no problem if the opposition wants the local media to give media coverage to their activities, but dont insult the government,” he said.
Meanwhile, Arau MP, Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim said the claims were intended solely to mar the image of the government by misusing the freedom given by the government.
“They only know how to twist all the efforts made by the government. The people wants news, not people’s bad points,” Shahidan who is also Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, said.