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Challenge to Zainuddin Maidin to regularly update RTM website with my blog postings to let Malaysian public evaluate their quality and veracity

Media Statement          
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Parliament, Saturday): I challenge the Information Minister, Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin to regularly update the RTM website with my blog postings to let the Malaysian public evaluate their quality and veracity.

Yesterday, on the sidelines of the UMNO General Assembly, Zainuddin announced the RTM website will publish selected comments from to let readers judge for themselves my blog.

He said: “From today, you can expect to see whatever sensationalized, racist and chauvinistic comments in the blog because we will publish them on the RTM and other agencies’ websites.”

Yesterday, the RTM website started a new “Media Baru” section which carried a YouTube video of the parliamentary exchange between Zainuddin and myself on press freedom and two of my blog postings, Zam - Info Minister under coconut shell or bidding to be Mat Rempit “Godfather”? (26th October 2007) and Zam sees red in being called “monkey” in this blog (November 7, 2007).

Let Zainuddin state where I had made “sensationalized, racist and chauvinistic comments” in these two blog postings.

In my Oct. 26 posting, I said that Zainuddin “has provided proof that he runs the Information Ministry like a frog under the coconut shell blissfully unaware that in the era of globalization and international competitiveness Malaysia cannot turn a blind eye to complaints, whether by Malaysians or foreigners, about misgovernance”.

This was in connection with the complaint by a visiting Canadian consultant, Manjit Sokhai, who had complained to the Parliamentary Caucus on Human Rights and Good Governance “about the menace of Mat Remptism, of which he was the most recent victim”.

Manjit, 43, from Montreal visits Malaysia three to four times a year in connection with his work. He was driving his four-wheel drive along Jalan Rasah, Seremban at about 11pm on Oct 20, with three friends from India when he was confronted by some 40 Mat Rempits on motorcycles, who assaulted him and went on to damage his vehicle, smashing the rear lights, wipers and number plate.

At the media conference at the Parliament lobby, where Manjit attended, I cited the recent crimes of Mat Rempitism, including murder, where even police and road transport officials had become victims, and called on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to give his personal attention to wipe out the Mat Rempit menace subverting law and order, creating fear among Malaysians and visitors about their personal safety, giving the country a bad name internationally and undermining Malaysia’s international competitiveness.

In my November 7 posting, I referred to the parliamentary exchange on 5th November 2007 where Zainuddin started by accusing me of calling him a “monkey” in my blog, but backing down when confronted and admitting it was a comment left on the blog.

Zainuddin had distorted what transpired in the parliamentary exchange by claiming that I had apologized for the comment. I did not apologize. I did express regret at the language used which was brought about by the low level of discourse caused by Zainuddin’s mischievous and irresponsible utterances.
Yes, I had said in my blog that I was surprised that the RTM on 6th November had telecast the parliamentary exchange. Why? This is explained by one email which I received on the parliamentary telecast:

“Dear Mr Lim:

“I hardly watch TV but made it a point to watch last night's telecast of your debate with Zam.

“Since Zam (I presume) controls RTM, I can only conclude that he had the debate shown as it would (he thought) make him look good.

“This really perplexes me - I would be ashamed, if I were him, to behave like that as a Minister. He demonstrated his stupidity and shallowness of thought to the whole country on national TV, seems to me that calling him a monkey is less an insult to him and more of an insult to the real monkeys in the forest, and you may quote me!

“Richard Teoh”

Zainuddin should stop misleading the Malaysian public. I never called him a monkey in my blog as he had first alleged in the parliamentary exchange, as borne out by the Hansard, viz:

Datuk Seri Zainuddin bin Maidin: Bagaimana kredibiliti, bagaimana kualitinya DAP apa yang ditulis tentang saya dalam DAP. Say baca….. “Zam is behaving like BN monkey that gone bananas over nuts”….

[Dewan riuh]

Datuk Seri Zainuddin bin Maidin: Malu! Malu! Seorang anggota Parlimen menulis macam ini di sini, malu!

Tuan Lim Kit Siang [Ipoh Timur]: Siapa tulis itu?

Datuk Seri Zainuddin bin Maidin: You tulis, tapi tak usahlah…you tak usah kata you tak tulis, ini Lim Kit Siang blog.

Tuan Lim Kit Siang [Ipoh Timur]: Itu komen atau saya tulis? Bukan, adakah saya menulis? Itu komen pelawat-pelawat.

[Dewan riuh]

Zainuddin should be educated about blogs, which consist of two parts – my postings and comments from visitors.

I am responsible for every word of my own postings. As for the comments from visitors, I accept responsibility for providing the platform for divergent views expressed but I do not accept responsibility for every view expressed – which will be most ridiculous when diametrically contrary views are aired!

Just as I never called Zainuddin a “monkey”, the Information Minister was very mischievous and irresponsible in alleging that I wanted him and Khairy Jamaluddin to be killed by Mat Rempits.

The comment he referred to was not any incitement to kill Zam and Khairy but an expression of disgust at their irresponsibility in ignoring the menace of Mat Remptism whose depredations are race-blind, causing the poster to give expression to the despair that both of them would only realize the nefarious nature of Mat Rempitism if they themselves suffer the criminal worst in the hands of the Mat Rempits.

Again, it is regrettable that such a comment is posted, but does Zainuddin understand why his indifference to the menace of Mat Rempitism has driven many Malaysians to despair?


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

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