Information Ministry parliamentary secretary Datuk Zainuddin Maidinís statement yesterday that TV1 would continue to air the 90-second Barisan Nasional political propaganda footage, used during the Indera Kayangan by-election to paint the PAS-led Barisan Alternative as representing a Taliban Malaysia, is proof that the Barisan Nasional propagandists want to use the same footage to manipulate voter minds in the next 18 months until the next general elections - which Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad had told an interview with Taiwan academics could be held next year or in 2004.
This is a most unscrupulous exploitation of the two Barisan Nasional trump-cards for the next general elections - the 911 terror card and the Taliban card - and the Election Commission should be mindful of its constitutional duty to conduct free, fair and clean general elections and convene an all-party roundtable conference to draw up a Clean and Honest Electoral Code of Conduct governing all political parties, whether in government or opposition, and whether during the election campaign period or before.
Such an Electoral Code of Conduct should include provisions to deal with abuses and misuses of power such as the broadcasting of the 90-second propaganda footage camouflaged as prime-time news over national television, whether in the run-up to the Indera Kayangan by-election or for the next 18 months until the next general elections.
Zainuddin also announced yesterday that TV1 will air a 20-minute video clip from Thursday night on the Memali incident. Is this going to be a one-time broadcast or will it be another long-running broadcast like the 90-second political propaganda camouflaged as prime-time news to paint the Barisan Alternative as representing a Taliban Malaysia?