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Instead Of Information Minister Datuk Kadir Paduka Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir Resigning, It Should Be His Deputy Datuk Zainudin Maidin That Should Leave For His Unfair Remarks, Lies And Threats Against Tamil Newspapers For Reporting That RTM Forced Female Tamil Newscasters To Wear Baju Kebaya.

Media Statement (2)
by Lim Guan Eng

(DAP Bukit Bintang  Service Centre, Tuesday): Instead of Information Minister Datuk Kadir Paduka Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir Resigning, it should be his deputy Datuk Zainudin Maidin that should leave for his unfair remarks, lies and threats against Tamil newspapers for reporting that RTM forced female Tamil Newscasters to wear baju kebaya. With talk of the Information Minister resigning, DAP is asking why his irresponsible and extremist deputy is still retained.

DAP calls on Deputy Information Minister Datuk Zainudin Maidin to apologise and withdraw his unfair remarks that Tamil newspapers were irresponsible for lying that RTM forced TV2ís Tamil female newscasters to wear baju kebaya when reading the nightly Tamil news. He claimed that the report was not true and it was very dangerous because it could cause dissatisfaction among the Indian community. He added that RTM only asked for the cooperation of the newscasters to wear the baju kebaya.

I have year written evidence that such a directive was indeed issued by RTM to female Tamil newscasters. In a duty roster issued by RTM Penerbit Rancangan B41 Sumathy Vadiappan  to all Tamil newcasters for the period from 1-15 February 2006, the female newscaster Rohiny and Latha were required to wear baju kebaya on 6.2.2006 and 14.2.2006(today) respectively.

Clearly Zainuddin and not the Tamil newspapers are lying. It is also clear that Tamil newspapers were behaving responsibly by reporting the truth. Instead it is Zainuddin who is behaving irresponsibly by lying as I have been informed that this directive on female Tamil newscasters  to wear baju kebaya was issued by RTM early this month.                       

Such lies and threats against Tamil newspapers are a threat to press freedom and shows that the real reason why the government to retain oppressive laws such as the Printing Presses and Publications Act and the Sedition Act is to cover up their lies. Zainuddin has also shown himself to be intolerable and extremist by infringing on their cultural rights and freedom by forcing Tamil newscasters to wear the baju kebaya.

I wish to challenge Zainuddin to deny that such a directive was issued by RTM to Tamil newscasters. At a time when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abudllah Ahmad Badawi is promoting integrity and ethics in our work and living culture, it is sad that Zainuddin does not practice such values by speaking the truth.

Zainuddin should order that RTMís directive be rescinded in line with his claim that RTM asked for the co-operation of the female Tamil newscasters to wear the baju kebaya and it is up to them whether to do so. Should he fail to do so by rescinding such a directive and apologising to Tamil newspapers for his mistake, then he has no moral authority to be the Deputy Information Minister and should resign. It is only fair that if the newspapers are punished for any wrongdoing, the Deputy Minister of Information should similarly be punished if he commits any wrongs or lies


* Lim Guan Eng,  DAP Secretary General

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