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NUJ, defender of fascist instruments

I wish to express my regret over Norila Daud's statement in the Bernama news report titled 'NUJ upset over expulsion of journalist' dated Nov 26, 2009.

I also wish to lodge a complaint with NUJ over the unethical reporting by The Star in the article titled, 'Journalist gets the boot' which twisted my words as described in my letter to The Star 's group chief editor, which I have copied to you.

In the letter, I described what actually transpired on that day.

What actually took place?

This is the real story. Upon learning that the reporter was from Utusan Melayu , I said, "We do not welcome Utusan " and he left. Then I spoke to our president Razak, "We welcome media but not propaganda machines."

I spoke calmly and I was not abusive in any manner. My actions could not have been interpreted as chasing him out, giving him the boot or uncouth behaviour as was reported by Edward Rajendra for The Star newspaper.

Furthermore, I never uttered the words of "federal government agent". The reporter Edward Rajendra also quoted me as having said, "We can't allow government propaganda machines into the press conference".

This is a typical 'half truth mixed with erroneous information' spinning technique used in unscrupulous journalism.

Did the reporter really know what I actually meant? In writing his article, Edward made no effort to seek comment or clarification from me. His failure to do so and to instead resort to wild imaginings has made The Star read like a novel.

I challenge Edward to state that his writing was based on his honest recollection of what transpired or resign immediately if my argument is proven correct.

In the interest of truth, I urge NUJ to instruct The Star and any other media representatives to disclose their audio recordings and investigate this matter.

I would be very happy to give my full cooperation and be able to tell my side of story. And if the published report is found to be inaccurate, I urge NUJ to instruct The Star to publish a correction and offer a public apology to me.

However, your statement that you regret the 'expulsion' of the journalist has shown your true colours.

First The Star 's news article failed to meet the basic requirements of journalism which stresses on balanced and objective reporting based on facts.

As chairman of NUJ, you should have known better than to rely solely on a false report to issue your statement. Both misjudgements are an indication of the quality of journalism of The Star and Utusan nowadays.

It would seem that for Edward Rajendra and you, a member of Utusan , promoting a political agenda is of greater concern than upholding journalistic principles.

In truth, I have little hope that NUJ will stick to its code of ethics and take action against unscrupulous journalism because the NUJ has never criticised the blatant racist articles and irresponsible commentary made by Utusan thus far.

It is clear that Utusan does not meet any of the the requirements of responsible journalism. No other news provider or political party organ is as seditious and irresponsible as Utusan .

In short, Utusan is a fascist instrument masquerading as a news provider with a printing press license. Utusan lost its credibility as a news provider after Said Zahari was forced to leave office in 1961 and Utusan was subsequently taken over by Umno.

When Norila claimed that the public has the right to information, she should also have recognised that political parties, organisations and individuals also have the right to convey their point of view without having their words twisted by irresponsible journalism.

As no regulatory mechanism such as a media council or press complaint commission is available to check upon unethical journalism, there is no option but to resort to boycotts, which is to use the market mechanism to punish unscrupulous journalism.

Therefore, it is my contention that Pakatan Rakyat should bar Utusan from attending their events and from obtaining state information.

Norila ignored all these facts and never invoked the NUJ code of ethics to give the slightest warning to Utusan . She should be ashamed of herself as president of the NUJ.

We should never deny the rakyat's right to information. I urge the rakyat to choose genuine and responsible news providers in order to receive true and accurate information instead of manipulative spin doctoring by fascist instruments.

Ng Yap Hwa is the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat Elected Representatives Officers Association secretary

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