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Media Statement by Lim Guan Eng in Parliament on Tuesday, 24th June 2008: 

Parliament's restrictions on reporters hampers the functioning of democracy  

The enclosure and exclusion of reporters to a small corner at the Parliament lobby in both demeaning and to reporters carrying out their duties as well as contemptuous of the functioning of democracy and freedom of the press. There is no justification whatsoever for restricting reporters to a small corner as if they pose a grave danger to security and a role to the safety of parliamentarians.

No MP has ever suffered personal injury or threats from reporters accredited to cover the Parliament. By imposing such restrictions merely for the personal comfort and conveniences of certain individuals would contravene the basic spirit of democracy and respect the sanctity of Parliament where reporters can carry out their duties to communicate debate on policy in an accurate and professional manner.

DAP strongly criticises these restrictions as hampering the functioning of democracy and efforts towards a first-world Parliament. There can never be a first world Parliament without press freedom and where reporters are not permitted to do their job in a freely available and amicable manner. DAP MPs will continue to pursue with the Speaker to lift this restriction which is contrary to public demands for a CAT Parliament that is Competent, Accountable and Transparent.

* Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General & MP for Bagan