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No plan to censor MPs’ remarks in parliament

KUALA LUMPUR, 6 April 2009: The Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) has no plan to censor words uttered by members of Parliament during the live telecast of the Dewan Rakyat debate sessions, Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek said today.

As such, he said, RTM had no plan to air delayed telecast of the debate sessions to allow editing to be made.

“The original objective for the live telecast is to enable the people to see for themselves the conduct and performance of elected representatives in the Dewan Rakyat,” he said when winding up the debate on the motion of thanks on the address of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in the Dewan Negara today.

He said that if the speeches were edited, then it would defeat the purpose of telecasting the sessions live.

Several members had proposed that RTM carry only delayed telecast of the sessions so that censorship could be made on inappropriate words uttered by the MPs.

“If we do editing, then the people will be wondering why we edited out certain things. This will cause suspicions,” he said.

On another issue, Ahmad Shabery said, it was RTM’s policy not to report on domestic problems involving celebrities or politicians.

On the other hand, he said, RTM had a special programme called Sehati Sejiwa (soul mate) which tells the stories of successful marriage involving celebrities.

To a question by Senator Datuk Dr Firdaus Abdullah whether the ministry would take over the role of monitoring and licensing of private broadcasting stations, which is now under the Energy, Water and Communications Ministry, Ahmad Shabery said he had no power to do so.

“It is up to the prime minister to carry out a restructuring if he thinks it is necessary. At the moment there are five ministries which deal with media monitoring,” he said. — Bernama


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