KOTA BARU, 22 Oct 2008: A Berita Harian journalist was barred from covering the Kelantan state assembly sitting today because there was no apology in the newspaper over its frontpage report yesterday, which was said to be inaccurate.
Assembly Speaker Mohd Nassuruddin Daud said he read the Berita Harian (BH) newspaper today and found that it had not published a correction to yesterday’s report, headlined “Sultan Murka Kerajaan PAS Gagal Tadbir Kelantan”.
“Under Article 14 of the Standing Orders, I’ve decided not to allow journalists from the newspaper to cover the sitting for the whole session,” he told the assembly which started its budget session 20 Oct.
Following that, BH journalist Khairul Anuar Abdul Samad, who arrived to cover the sitting, was asked to leave the building.
Yesterday, Zainuddin Awang Hamat (PAS-Limbongan) demanded an apology from the newspaper and called for its journalists to be barred from covering the sitting.
He said that its front-page headline had tarnished the state government’s image and implied disharmony between the government and the palace.
Khairul Anuar, when met by Bernama, said he was unhappy with the decision but accepted it.
He said he arrived at the state secretariat building at 9am to cover the sitting and was told by security personnel to leave the premises on order of the Speaker.
Meanwhile, Kelantan Journalists Club president Wan Zulkifli Wan Yaakob said the club would meet the state government and Mohd Nassuruddin to discuss the ban on Berita Harian. — Bernama