Minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan today said he will file a lawsuit against news portal Malaysiakini after failing to receive a satisfactory reply over its report on his remarks on reverse migration.
Abdul Rahman had in a letter of demand dated Nov 24 asked that Malaysiakini and its reporter retract the said report and sign an agreement not to publish it again.
“I stress that this is not to curb media freedom but to remind news portals to be more careful and to not compromise on facts.
“News portals play a check-and-balance role and must be transparent in their reports,” he said in a statement.
The report was based on a straw poll based on Abdul Rahman’s remarks on reverse migration.
Members of the public were asked for their response after being shown a video by Astro Awani in which Abdul Rahman answered a question on migration away from the city.
The minister claims Malaysiakini had edited the video and taken his remarks out of context.
This included his urging that urban developers prepare an area in balconies of apartments so that urban dwellers can plant vegetables like chilli.
In the video, Abdul Rahman was asked if more city dwellers might consider moving out of urban areas due to the rising cost of living.
“ Alhamdulillah . Reverse migration. That is what I want. Too many people are moving into the cities right now,” he said.
“The stresses to the urban systems like housing, hospitals, farming, traffic jams, pollution; all this will be eased if people want to go back and plant corn and chilli in their kampung.
“If they want to migrate back to the kampung, I will be the happiest urban well-being minister in the world,” he had declared.
The Astro Awani recording did not include the minister's comments on "community gardening" or urging urban developers to prepare land for it.