KUALA LUMPUR, 12 March 2009: Deputy Home Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung said the government is willing to station police at press conferences to prevent reporters from being assaulted.
“It is important for reporters to follow police advice. Don’t enter if you are not allowed. Don’t become overzealous by forcing in to get scoop photographs or news,” he said when replying to a supplementary question by Datuk Bung Moktar Radin (BN-Kinabatangan) in the Dewan Rakyat today.
He also said it was up to media companies to hire bodyguards to protect their employees.
Bung Moktar wanted to know whether the government plans to propose that media companies hire professional bodyguards to protect journalists on duty.
To the original question by Charles Santiago (DAP-Klang), Chor said there were four assault cases involving reporters and photographers in 2007 and six cases last year.
“Perlis police had one case last year under Section 147 of the Penal Code. The three suspects were arrested, charged and fined RM500 each.
“Kedah police had one case each in 2007 and 2008. The cases are still under investigation.”
Chor said Kuala Lumpur police were still investigating the case involving a reporter from The Edge under Section 323 of the Penal Code last year while that involving a TV3 reporter was still being heard in court.
Penang police had one case in 2007 that was still being tried and two cases involving reporters from Guang Ming Daily and Utusan Malaysia last year.
“Cases involving a Kosmo! reporter in Negeri Sembilan and a Malaysia Nanban reporter in Johor in 2007 are still under investigation,” he said. — Bernama
Protect or monitor?
If they’ve so much time to “worry” about journalists, shouldn’t they increase their numbers and quality to bring down the crime rate and make the general public feel safer to walk on the street no matter it’s day or night first?