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‘Minister orders return to status quo for RTM Mandarin news’

Published
Modified 31 Oct 2015, 3:32 pm

Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak has agreed for the state broadcaster RTM's Mandarin news programme to be restored to its original format, says MCA deputy president Wee Ka Siong.

This response came three days after the Mandarin news programme was ' punished ' by RTM's management to run its report without an video footage and later, without any Chinese text, purportedly for airing an unflattering photograph of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

Wee said the return to the status quo was agreed upon after he communicated with Salleh on the matter, according to Oriental Daily.

He added that Salleh had issued the necessary instructions to the Mandarin news programme to be restored as before.

On Tuesday, RTM's Mandarin news programme aired an unflattering photograph of Najib during its 8pm broadcast, reportedly by mistake.

The image was displayed when the RTM Mandarin newsreader was reporting on Najib's successful bid in staying PKR's lawsuit against him for allegedly breaking general election spending regulations.

The image, which was produced by Malaysiakini , showed Najib looking down solemnly, with a collage of other photographs related to 1MDB in the background, including a picture of Penang-born billionaire Jho Low.

Still not back to normal at 8pm

On Thursday, viewers began to notice that the Mandarin newsreaders at 12pm were made to read continuously without any accompanying video footage.

Yesterday, its noon broadcast was also missing the text at the bottom of the screen in Chinese. Instead, there was Malay text appearing in a Mandarin news sequence.

However, video footage was restored on the Friday 8pm broadcast but the Chinese text is still missing.

RTM Mandarin news readers had taken the ‘punishment’ in stride on Facebook , stating that it was a challenge for them to read news continuously for 20 minutes, in the absence of video footage.

Salleh had previously told Malaysiakini that he was unaware of any such instruction coming from his ministry and was looking into the matter.

However, a check on TV2's Mandarin News broadcast at 8pm today ( photo ) found that it had not completely return to normal as the headlines in Chinese were still missing and the backdrop remains static.

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