Zainuddin can only defend the doctoring of the CNN film on the Taliban execution of Afghan woman if he stands for an unethical, immoral  and soulless propaganda theory that  “the end justifies the means”

Media Statement 
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Thursday)The Information Ministry Parliamentary Secretary Datuk Zainuddin Mydin has admitted the act but not the  term of “doctoring” the CNN clip  of the Taliban execution of an Afghan woman at the Kabul football stadium in the Barisan Nasional 90-second propaganda footage shown nightly over national television in the past three weeks camouflaged as prime-time news to paint Barisan Alternative, PAS and Parti Keadilan Nasional (PKN) as rooting for a  Taliban Malaysia for the purpose of the Indera Kayangan by-election.

I had said that the 90-second propaganda footage is  dishonest and violates all ethical and professional principles of  broadcasting as well as the three “absolute ingredients” of  integrity, honesty and fairness proclaimed by Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, and that  the Information Minister, Tan Sri Khalil Yaakob should  apologise for doctoring a CNN film on the Taliban execution of an Afghan woman in burqa  at the Kabul football field being shot in the head three times at close range. The original CNN film showed the execution with  one rifle shot at the head of the Afghan woman.

Zainuddin did not deny that the CNN film had been tampered, although he claimed that the visual was genuine. He objected to my  use of the word “doctored”, saying: “The segment Kit Siang was referring to was repeated, not doctored”.  (The Star 17.1.2002).

I am shocked that Zainuddin could admit to the act but not the term  of “doctoring” the CNN film, as “doctoring” means any tampering, including repeating a particular segment without proper explanation or clarification!

Zainuddin can only defend the doctoring or tampering  of the CNN film on the Taliban execution of Afghan woman if  he stands for an unethical, immoral  and soulless propaganda theory that  “the end justifies the means” - which spawned the Nazi propaganda of Joseph Goebbels which could justify lies, and very big lies, to purportedly to serve their “truth”!
Let Zainuddin declare whether he is a latter-day disciple of the Nazi Minister for Propaganda,  Joseph Goebbels and that as far as he is concerned, “the end justifies the means”!

It was such unethical, immoral and soulless  propaganda approach which produced the propaganda scam in the 1990 general elections  when Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, who  was then the  Semangat 46 President and open challenger to UMNO and Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad,  was shown in the  last few days of the campaign repeatedly over television  as well as in print media with the Kadazan headgear falsely alleging that it bore the symbol of the cross and was final and ultimate proof that Razaleigh had sold out the Malay honour and race and betrayed the Islamic religion!

Did Zainuddin object to the dishonest propaganda scam of Razaleigh with the Kadazan headgear in the 1990 general elections?  No. He not only did not object, but was one of the chief instruments of such a propaganda scam in his capacity as editor-in-chief of the Utusan group of newspapers at the time!

Zainuddin claimed that the Barisan Nasional government was “defending democracy against religious extremists” with the nightly broadcast of the 90-second propaganda footage camouflaged as prime-time television news, saying: “We do not expect him to support us but he should keep quiet”.

First, let me give a commonplace analogy of the working out of the unethical, immoral and soulless mentality that “the end justifies the means”.  If the goal is to get a new car, and the means used to achieve this end is stealing, is Zainuddin suggesting that everyone should keep quiet about such thievery?

Second, let me declare that as far as “defending democracy against religious extremists”, the DAP has always been in the forefront, but we cannot countenance the exploitation of democracy for  undemocratic ends as is being done by Zainuddin  in his crude attempt to distort my objection to the doctoring to the CNN clip by alleging that I am defending the Taliban execution of the Afghan woman.

It is for PAS or PKN to object to the contents of the 90-second propaganda footage, as they are the political parties which are targetted in the clips. However, the nightly broadcast of the propaganda footage camouflaged as prime-time news  is a matter of public interest as it violates all the rules of honest and ethical broadcasting, and this is why DAP is asking for three conditions even if the Barisan Nasional government wants to continue to air the footage, namely:

Up to now, neither Zainuddin nor Khalil has been able to give a sober and rational response to this  three-point demand on the principle  of responsible and ethical broadcasting without resort to crude emotional outbursts and distractions.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman