Act against Bernama and New Straits Times under the 1984 Printing Presses and Publications Act or Multimedia and Communications Act 1998 for printing false news

DAP demands immediate action by the police against Bernama and New Straits Times under the 1984 Printing Presses and Publications Act Or Multimedia and Communications Act 1998 for printing false news that Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had blamed non-muslims for mocking Islam and that he referred to the dog trainer’s Hari Raya video clip. The Deputy Prime Minister clarified that he did not specifically mention that non-Muslims had belittled and mocked Islam of late, in his widely reported July 30 speech and was only making a general statement.

On July 31, news organisations such as Bernama and New Straits Times had quoted Muhyiddin mentioning “another disturbing video clip” which he claimed was insensitive to Muslim sensitivities and blamed non-Muslims for insulting the sanctity of Islam when Muslims do not make fun of other faiths. DAP believes that in Muhyddin and that both New Straits Times and Bernama lied to stoke racial tensions by creating enmity, hatred and fear between Malaysia’s Muslim and non-Muslim communities.

As a victim of repeated lies by these news organisations, I would believe that Muhyiddin is also a victim of such lies. Only by punishing these news organisations, will they stop spreading such lies that threaten the very fabric of Malaysian nation-building and unity.

Another newspaper that should be punished is Utusan Malaysia that published lies about Selangor acting police A Thaiveegan warning that the police would not hesitate to use the Sedition Act against those who spread photographs of the makeshift canteen in the shower room controversy because such images could result in provocation and racial conflict. According to A. Thaiveegan, he had not said anything to the effect of using the Sedition Act.

Under section 8A of the Printing Presses & Publications Act 1984, the penalty for false news is a maximum fine of RM20,000 and imprisonment of 3 years or to both whereas under section 233(1) of the Multimedia and Communications Act 1998, the maximum fine not exceeding fifty thousand ringgit or to imprisonment not exceeding one year or to both.

DAP doubts that action will be taken against Bernama, New Straits Times Utusan Malaysia for spreading false news as the BN practices double-standards and selective prosecution in only punishing its opponents but not those who support BN. No action was taken against Utusan Malaysia for openly calling for the bloody May 13 racial riots that killed thousands of innocent Malaysians to be celebrated as a holy day.

Witness the failure to punish Perkasa leaders Ibrahim Ali and Zulkifli Noordin for their calls respectively to burn the Bible and make insults against Hindus. Worse UMNO Ministers like Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman refused to condemn Ibrahim Ali’s call to burn the Bible or that Ibrahim Ali should apologise and be punished.

Lim Guan Eng
DAP Secretary General & MP for Bagan
Media statement by Lim Guan Eng in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, 4th August 2013