Business Week’s alleged threatening letter to the Prime Minister to write negative reports about him and Malaysia after he refused to entertain its request for an interview should be tabled in Parliament tomorrow to allow MPs and the people to judge the issue
Media Conference Statement
- at the launch of the DAP’s 46th National Day Celebrations/Defend Secular Malaysia campaign at Pandamaran new village
by Lim Kit Siang
(Klang, Sunday): The Amercian business weekly, Business Weeks’ alleged threatening letter to the Prime Minister to write negative reports about him and Malaysia after he refused to entertain its request for an interview should be tabled in Parliament tomorrow to allow Members of Parliament and the people to judge the issue.
Mahathir made the allegation on Wednesday against the Business Week’s Singapore bureau correspondent Michael Shari for his two-page letter dated September 9, which sought his response over claims that “Malaysia Inc benefited from government largesse and tolerated a culture of bribery and corruption” during his tenure as Prime Minister, threatening “that if I don’t see them they are going to write all sorts of nonsense and nasty things about me and the country, about cronyism, about oppression, dictatorship and all that”. (Star 11.9.03)
Mahathir’s allegation has immediately evoked a chorus of condemnation of Business Week and even counter-threats by a whole bevy of Barisan Nasional Ministers and leaders like the Foreign Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar, the UMNO Youth leader Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein, Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob and the MCA Deputy Home Minister, Datuk Chor Chee Heung. New Straits Times wrote an editorial entitled “A black day for journalism”, although I am quite sure none of them had read the Business Week letter.
The 2004 Budget debate begins in Parliament tomorrow, and undoubtedly, Barisan Nasional MPs are lining up to demonstrate their love for the Prime Minister by competing in their denunciation and condemnation of Business Week for its “offensive, unethical, unacceptable and deplorable” journalism.
DAP has not said anything so far on the alleged threat by Business Week as we have not sighted the offending letter. The Business Week’s offending letter threatening the Prime Minister should be tabled in Parliament first thing tomorrow before any MP, whether Barisan Nasional, Barisan Alternative or DAP, can speak on it in the parliamentary debate on the 2004 Budget.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman