Media Statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, 3rd September 2008: 

Apology for mistake that Najib’s “apology” blacked out by Utusan Malaysia and Berita Harian

In my media statement this morning, I had stated five reasons why Umno Deputy President Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s apology on behalf of Bukit Bendera Umno division chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail for the latter’s derogatory, offensive, insensitive and racist reference of the Chinese as “squatters” and untrustworthy Malaysians is inappropriate, inadequate and unacceptable.

For the fifth reason, I had said:

“Fifthly, the bona fide of Najib’s apology comes into question when this news is blacked out in the Malay mainstream newspapers owned and controlled by UMNO, in particular Utusan Malaysia and Berita Harian. A check with Bernama online shows that Najib’s apology is reported in Bernama’s English news but blacked out in Bernama’s Bahasa Malaysia news.

“With such media manipulation of his apology, how much is one to believe Najib when he said that Ahmad’s statement did not reflect the position and attitude of Umno or the leadership of Umno?”

I now withdraw my statement with reference to Utusan Malaysia and Berita Harian as I have found that it is a mistake, for Utusan Malaysia reported it in page 2 under the heading “UMNO minta maaf kenyataan Ahmad – TPM” while Berita Harian reported it in page 2 under the heading “Umno anggap kenyataan pandangan Ahmad”.

I apologise to Utusan Malaysia and Berita Harian for this mistake.

It is however correct that Bernama online did not carry the news for its Bahasa Malaysia version although it was carried in the English version.

* Lim Kit Siang,  DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor