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Media should not be afraid to uphold the truth – PM

PUTRAJAYA, 3 Sept 2008: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said today the media should not be afraid of or feel apologetic in upholding the truth.

He said upholding the truth was a fundamental principle towards ensuring that justice prevailed.

“Hold steadfastly to the principle of truth because the credibility of any institution depends on how strongly the institution upholds the truth,” he said.

“I would like communication technology and channels to be used constructively as instruments upholding the principles of justice by disseminating the truth based on facts,” he said when launching Bernama Web TV at the Prime Minister’s Office, here.

Abdullah reminded that communication technology and channels could be used constructively as well as destructively.

Abdullah said content or software used to disseminate and “enrich” negative material of a slanderous nature with the motive to cause disunity would surely bring about destruction.

He said the government realised the importance of the effective communication approach in its efforts to introduce various measures to ensure continued national economic growth.

“In times such as this, an effective communication programme will help enhance understanding of the heavy burden the government has to bear and bolster the appreciation of the people towards the sincerity of the government’s efforts to ensure their well-being,” he said.

Abdullah said the introduction of the online version of Bernama TV would enable Malaysians anywhere in the world to follow news on the country real time.

“The world economic situation is most challenging today. People around the world are facing the pressures of life.

“The government will continue with determination to ensure that the people have the right understanding and objective evaluation of the government’s responsibility and efforts in handling this challenge,” he said.

He said this media communication technology and channel should be utilised to help build a peaceful and progressive nation of a united, law-abiding and prosperous people.

Abdullah said he believed that the 40-year-old Bernama, the Malaysian national news agency, was a matured and experienced media institution which had contributed much towards forging greater unity among the people and had served the nation well.

Also present at the launch were Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad and Bernama chairman Datuk Seri Panglima Mohd Annuar Zaini. — Bernama

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