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Serving the BN

“I will be looking at the role of television and radio stations in nation building. There are 34 radio stations under the government.”

INFORMATION, Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, who blamed the Barisan Nasional (BN)’s recent poor elections performance on private television and radio stations that did not “carry messages good for nation building.” Rais also said the media had been very helpful to the BN over the years. (Source: Rais Wants Private TV And Radio Stations To Make Changes, Bernama, 9 April 2009)

“The activities of Indian leaders are also seldom given sufficient coverage in the Tamil news segment, so much so that we have to rely on private television networks.”

MIC Youth chief T Mohan, who said the Tamil-language news needed to be more timely and use a pro-government concept. He also called on RTM to improve its Tamil-language programmes. (Source: Call to revamp RTM Tamil news, The Star, 22 April 2009)

On 18 April 2009, Malaysiakini ran a story titled Razak Baginda is taboo, TV stations told, that said four Media Prima television stations were directed not to name Abdul Razak Baginda, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor when reporting on the Altantuya Shaaribuu murder case. The directive to TV3, ntv7, 8TV and tv9 apparently came via an e-mail sent by Media Prima group director of news and current affairs (television networks) Kamarulzaman Zainal.

The media conglomerate is widely believed to be linked to Umno.

“When I talk about responsible reporting, I certainly do not mean the responsibility to take the side of the government.”

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who said Malaysia needed a media “that is empowered … to hold governments and public officials accountable for the results they achieve or do not achieve.” (Source: Malam Wartawan 2009: Policy, Politics, and the Media – A New Way Forward,, 6 April 2009)

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