|December 09, 2007 16:17 PM||<!– –>|
The Information Minister attacks two “not credible organizations” on state media.
CIJ, WAMI Not Credible Associations, Says Zam
MERBOK, Dec 9 (Bernama) — Information Minister Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin said today the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) and the Writers Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI) which claimed to champion press freedom and independence of the media were not credible associations.
“They, undoubtedly, have links with Hindraf (the Hindu Rights Action Force) because they are irresponsible towards the government and country,” he said.
It was clear that the CIJ and WAMI were being used by foreign powers and local opposition political parties for their own selfish gains, he told reporters after a visit to the new Merbok public library here.
Zainuddin was responding to the statements by the two bodies recently which claimed that the termination of the services of seven deejays of the Minnal FM Tamil channel of Radio and Television Malaysia (RTM), allegedly for their involvement in the Nov 25 illegal assembly organised by Hindraf in Kuala Lumpur, was discriminatory.
Both the associations wanted the seven deejays to be reinstated, saying that their sacking only reflected the lack of tolerance on the part of the government towards the democratic rights of its employees.
Zainuddin explained that the services of two of the deejays were discontinued because of disciplinary problems while the five others were not reappointed when Minnal FM underwent a reorganisation. He also cited laziness and misuse of the office telephone as some of the other reasons.
He also said that the ministry was considering lodging a police report against the two associations and groups which disseminated slander against agencies under the ministry.
Zainuddin also said that the report on the Malaysiakini website on the seven Minnal FM deejays was of a seditious and racial nature and could incite anger in the people and create suspicion towards the government.
On the RM1.3-million library, he said it would make Merbok a “valley of knowledge” and spur research on the Bujang Valley, Kedah’s oldest historical site going back to the 1400s.
He said Merbok was also the location for the Asian Institute of Medicine, Science and Technology (AIMST) university, Universiti Teknoloji Mara (UiTM), a Mara Junior Science College (MRSM) and the Bujang Valley Museum of Archeology.
Kedah Public Library Corporation Director Dr Zahidi Zainol Rashid said the Merbok library would be opened to the public in February next year, and would house 100,000 books along with Internet facilities.