Press Statement by Charles Santiago in Klang on Saturday, 18th October 2008: 

Who Are - Utusan Malaysia, Chamil Wariya and Ibrahim Ghaffar - Working For?

I strongly condemn the recent poem published in Utusan Malaysia, subtly likening DAP parliamentarian and a close friend Teresa Kok to a dog. I also denounce the indirect insinuations on Kok in a short fictional story which is about the assassination of a female Chinese lawmaker.

The decision to publish these articles shows blatant disregard by the editorial team of the broadsheet to ethical and credible journalism.

It is even more shocking to note that the fictional piece was written by the Malaysia Press Institute CEO Chamil Wariya. Chamil's position carries the need for him to instill the practice of responsible journalism among media workers. But he has simply failed to do so and instead acted in the most irresponsible fashion.

The Malay daily described the poem penned by Dr Ibrahm Ghaffar as a reminder to those who threatened Islam and the Malay race. This is yet another ancient tactic used by the government-controlled media to pit the races against each other.

While these underhand strategies are done in the name of Islam, it is inevitably used to ensure the political survival of the ruling National Front coalition government, which is threatened by an emboldened opposition.

I therefore urge Dr Ibrahim, Chamil and Utusan Malaysia to unreservedly apologise to Teresa Kok. The police must also act on the police reports filed by DAP Youth against Chamil and Utusan Malaysia.

In most countries the government, regulatory authorities and police would have intervened as a matter of urgency. Most importantly, they would have protected the interests of the victim

I urge the Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to instruct the police to provide Teresa Kok round the clock police protection.

* Charles Santiago, MP for Klang