KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) – Veteran journalist Datuk Seri Azman Ujang has strongly denied a report published in the Straits Times of Singapore yesterday quoting him as having said that the Barisan Nasional (BN) would face a tough battle in the next general election “due to public unhappiness over government scandals and cost-of-living issues”.
In issuing the denial, Azman said the newspaper had completely misreported him and that such comments were actually made by another panel speaker at yesterday’s Regional Outlook Forum organised by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore.
“For the newspaper to have mixed up what another person said and attributed it to me instead is not only highly regrettable but unethical as well,” said Azman, who is the chairman of Bernama.
Azman said that, in fact, he had told the forum that it would be easier for the BN to win this general election compared to the previous two elections.
“I even quoted the findings of a public opinion poll by the Merdeka Centre that the BN is poised to regain the two-thirds majority that it lost in the 2008 and 2013 elections,” he said.
The report was also carried by news portal Malaysiakini.
Azman said that at the forum, he never made any reference whatsoever to “government scandals or cost-of-living issues” as reported by the Singapore newspaper.
“As a journalist myself, I just cannot understand how a newspaper of The Straits Times’ stature could put somebody else’s words into my mouth because the two panellists who spoke at the forum on the coming Malaysian general election are two distinct persons,” he said.
Azman said that he had requested the newspaper reporter to issue a correction and clarification on the report.