Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar has refused to field questions from Malaysiakini and accused the news portal of being a “purveyor of one-sided journalism”.
At a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today, a journalist from the online news portal attempted several times to pose questions to the minister, but the latter simply looked away.
“I'm not taking questions from you. I know where you are from, you are a purveyor of one-sided journalism. No questions from you. Next!” he said, finally breaking his silence.
Khairy was speaking at a press conference after Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak launched the Kumpulan Masa Depan TN50 (TN50 Future Group) at the same event, which is the second phase of the TN50 dialogue session that started on Jan 19.
Malaysiakini had intended to ask Khairy the following questions:
- How much is the allocation to hold the TN50 dialogue sessions and events, and which ministry's budget is the funding coming from?
- Would the government hold a TN50 townhall session with representatives from the opposition, as requested by PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli?
- Whether the government would hold a TN50 dialog session with the media industry?
When a question similar to the first was asked by a reporter from another publication, Khairy replied he was unsure whether other ministries were also allocating their budgets for TN50-related activities.
“But once we have done with all the planning and costing, I can answer that in Parliament,” he said.
As for the second phase of the TN50 dialogue sessions, Khairy said 84 youths and 60 mentors had been picked to join the TN50 Future Group, either by the secretariat or by their peers.
They would dwell into the details of the over 33,000 “aspirations” collected up to this point via TN50-related activities, which in turn are divided into five themes, namely: economy and employment, life and harmony, governance, lifestyle and society.
The group would come up with specific ideas and policies that can be implemented, starting with the 2018 budget that would be tabled in Parliament later this year.
“(Najib) told me that this is a way of future-proofing the country by creating our destiny, so this concept of future-proofing is important.
“We have to make sure that we future-proof the country by creating our destiny, by making sure that we prepare for every eventuality by making sure that we prepare an education and training modules, which will take into account changes in technology, demographics and geopolitics, so that whatever the eventuality, we are prepared to face it,” Khairy said.