Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein today alleged that Malaysiakini had spun his comments on the security of PKR’s nationwide Jelajah Merdeka tour in Johor.
He was responding to Malaysiakini’s report yesterday where he was asked what guarantees the opposition had in light of the incidents that PKR’s tour had faced, the latest of which took place yesterday in Tangkak, Johor.
In the report Hishammuddin, a native Johorean, was quoted saying, “No need for guarantees. It is decided by the people of Johor themselves.”
The home minister in his Twitter today complained, “Malaysiakini spin (my words). I said the position of the opposition in Johor cannot be guaranteed.
“They spin that I said I cannot guarantee the safety of the opposition.
“As I have always stressed, the safety of the rakyat will continue to be prioritised without ‘favouritism’! Without fear or favour,” Hishammuddin tweeted this morning.
Malaysiakini was speaking to the home minister at the sidelines of the Home Ministry’s open house in Putrajaya yesterday.
The transcript of the conversation is reproduced here in full:
Malaysiakini: Johor is an Umno stronghold and it seems the Johoreans are rejecting PKR, from the incident of their bus being splashed with paint. What is the reason for this rejection against PKR?
Hishammuddin: That you have to ask the Johor people themselves.
Malaysiakini: What message do you have for the people of Johor?
Hishammuddin: None. The people of Johor are just as usual.
Malaysiakini: This is the third (paint splashing incident), would you be able to give a guarantee ... (Hishammuddin interrupts the question at this point).
Hishammuddin: There’s no need. The ones who will decide are the Johor people themselves. I think PKR also knows this and can evaluate for themselves what will happen there (in Johor). Ask the Johor people lah.
Malaysiakini: Does that mean they go knowing fully the risks...
Hishammuddin: This is politics. Politics is all about the risks.
Hishammuddin: If they take the risks, calculated. If calculated tak jalan (if calculated risks don’t work), that means it is not their place to be there. In the end the people of Johor will decide. It is clear what has happened.
According to Bernama, Hishammuddin told reporters after opening the Hulu Terengganu Umno division delegates meeting in Kuala Berang today that the Malaysiakini report "smacks of malice".
Asked whether he would take action against the portal, he said he would iscuss the matter with the attorney-general.
He said the opposition had been practising the politics of hatred for a long time, as was evident in the recent spinning of his statement.
The opposition made use of the alternative media to influence the people, he aid.
"The people should exercise maturity in considering any issue. They should study an issue in depth before making up their mind," he said.
'Mother of outrages'