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(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob has misbehaved again in the august chamber of the Pahang State Assembly by using his winding-up speech to tell the media to “go to hell”. Such language is offensive as it is no different from telling journalists in print or broadcasting media to die.
Using such crude and ill-mannered language goes against the government’s courtesy campaign of have a cultured society. DAP fully supports the actions by journalists offended by such vicious and vitriolic personal attacks on the mass media, who walked out in protest at Adnan’s speech in the Pahang State Assembly.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had warned civil servants who delay and mismanage government projects that action would be taken against these “little Napoleons”. Now we have a “big Napoleon” in Adnan Yaakob who has shown that the problem lies not with civil servants but top BN leaders who have primitive and feudalistic thinking and can not take any criticism.
The Prime Minister should stop Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob from misbehaving like a “Big Napoleon” and direct him to apologise to both journalists and the public for restricting press freedom and sullying the office Pahang Menteri Besar and State Assembly. That Adnan is willing to stoop so low as to tell the media to “go to hell” and repeating it again in Malay, “pergi jahanam”, shows his utter contempt for journalists as a profession and innate hostility towards press freedom.
Adnan appears to have forgotten that the object of his ire are journalists and editors of a print or broadcasting media that is controlled by his own political party, UMNO. If the print or broadcasting media have misprinted, misreported, distorted and twisted the truth of what he said, Adnan can protest and demand a full apology and retraction. Adnan can even stage a demonstration outside the press or TV offices or file a defamation suit in court to seek damages and compensation if he is not satisfied.
After all it is a simple and straightforward fact whether he asked for RM 150-200 million in annual grants from the Federal Government to stop logging in Pahang and not the RM 300 million in compensation as reported. Even though DAP have repeatedly being victim of false reporting and lies by UMNO and BN-controlled newspapers and television stations, DAP have never told the media to “go to hell”.
But to tell journalists in the print or broadcasting media to die or go to hell (pergi jahanam) in the Pahang State Assembly is too extreme, unacceptable and completely disgraced himself, his office as Menteri Besar and the Pahang State Assembly. This is the real challenge for the Prime Minister. If he wants to rid the civil service of “little Napoleons” who sabotage government projects, then he should first get rid of “big Napoleons’ like Adnan Yaakob. Only by practicing leadership by example, will Abdullah have the credibility and integrity to improve the delivery system in government.