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I will ask in Parliament next week whether Abdullah wants Zam to be his “Minister for Truth” ala-Orwell’s 1984 and exemplar of “doublespeak and doublethink” in his administration

Media Statement 
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Parliament, Monday): It is five days since last Wednesday’s extraordinary briefing to the country’s top editors by the Information Minister, Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin that the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s pledge to “hear the truth” does not apply to the media as it was restricted to Barisan Nasional leaders and government officials – and three days since the public revelation of such a “directive” by Malaysiakini in an exclusive report on Friday.


As there had been no clarification or correction by the Prime Minister to such a briefing by Zainuddin, who specifically told the editors that he was acting under Abdullah’s instructions to convey to the media that the Prime Minister’s repeated pledges to “listen to the truth” did not mean that the media have the green light to “practice unrestrained reporting”, I feel compelled to pose in Parliament when it reconvenes next week the following question:


Does Abdullah want Zainuddin to be his “Minister for Truth” ala-Orwell’s 1984, exemplar of “doublespeak and doublethink” in his administration?


George Orwell’s novel 1984 painted a totalitarian country paralleling Stalinist Russia and Hitlerian Nazi Germany, where there is incessant brainwashing and re-education in a society saturated by doublethink and doublespeak.


There is a Ministry of Peace which concerns itself with war, the Ministry of Truth with lies, the Ministry of Love with torture and Ministry of Plenty with starvation.


Is Malaysia on the occasion of Abdullah’s fourth anniversary as Prime Minister heading in the direction of the “doublethink and doublespeak” of Orwell’s 1984, starting with the directive to the editors that the Prime Minister’s pledge to “hear the truth” does not apply to the press or the public at large?


Is this the reason why Abdullah’s pledge to eradicate corruption and to be the modern-day Justice Bao is meant to be understood in the reverse, resulting in even-worse corruption in the country in the past four years?


And why on the occasion of the 50th Merdeka anniversary, when there should be a greater sense of national unity and oneness, the prevailing sentiments in the country are the reverse?



* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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