Malaysiakini News

Opposition hammers Bernama boss for praising government

Published:  |  Modified:

National news organisation Bernama continues to draw flak from the opposition for its reporting, which is considered slanted towards the government.

In the past, it was Pakatan Harapan leaders who trained their guns on the organisation. But now, Bernama finds itself in the crosshairs of Umno.

In a statement this afternoon, Batu Pahat Umno division chief Puad Zarkashi criticised Bernama chairperson Azman Ujang's opinion piece in praise of Harapan.

"Surely with what he wrote, he will remain as Bernama chairperson.

"He will not suffer the same fate as the other (BN-era) former (chiefs) such as the former chief justice, attorney-general, Bank Negara governor, MACC chief, PNB chairperson and others who were pressured into resigning," added the former Special Affairs Department (Jasa) director-general.

In his opinion piece published in The Sun last Friday, Azman said Malaysia had become more inclusive under Harapan.

Apart from praising Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng for identifying himself as a "Malaysian" minister, the veteran newsman also urged Education Minister Maszlee Malik to appoint a non-Malay vice-chancellor in a public university.

Puad, however, disagreed.

"Azman had high praise for Lim as the best finance minister? What's so great about him?

“He has twisted the national debt issue so much that foreign investors pulled out and are not as interested in Malaysia," he said.

This was in reference to Putrajaya stating the national debt was over RM1 trillion but later clarifying that it included both debt and liabilities.

Puad also chastised Lim for Penang's plans to ask the federal government for an RM1 billion soft loan for the Penang Transport Master Plan.

He claimed Lim's appointment as finance minister went against the values of meritocracy espoused by Azman, as the DAP minister has an ongoing corruption court case over his bungalow in Penang.

As for Maszlee, Puad said if Azman wanted a non-Malay vice-chancellor in public universities, he should also ask the education minister to appoint a Malay vice-chancellor in a private varsity.

He added that Azman should remind Maszlee to focus on education policies and not trivial matters such as black school shoes.

Contacted for comment, Azman declined to respond to Puad beyond saying all views must be respected.

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