Sin Chew claims Mahathir misled over UEC issue

Modified 5 Jan 2019, 11:03 am

Media outlet Sin Chew Daily has claimed that Dr Mahathir Mohamad had been misled with regards to its recent interview with the prime minister.

Mahathir had yesterday made reference to his statements on the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC), and complained that what he says during interviews are not always accurately reported.

"I have never rejected (requests) when I am asked by the press for interviews, but sometimes I find what is reported is not what I said.

"With regard to the UEC, I never said I rejected it. I just said that there is sensitivity among the Malays and we will consider everyone's sensitivities, including the Chinese, Indians, Orang Asli and other ethnic groups in Malaysia," he said.

Sin Chew said it had never quoted Mahathir as saying that he rejected UEC. It added that Mahathir's statement had vindicated itself.

"It is apparent that some people have provided misleading information to Mahathir so that he believes that he was misquoted.

"As to why Mahathir would make such a statement after the Pakatan Harapan presidential council meeting, only those who were present during the meeting would know," it said in an editorial piece.

The Chinese newspaper also took aim at Malaysiakini for publishing the transcript of Mahathir's interview with Sin Chew.

"We do not want to touch on Malaysiakini's journalistic ethics and conduct, we leave it to the readers to judge.

"However, we are surprised at Malaysiakini's action of comparing the recording of Sin Chew Daily's interview with Sin Chew Daily's report.

"Regardless of whether it is the traditional or online media, we should stand on the side of the people to ask whether those in power will fulfil their promise to recognise UEC, but not the other way around, which is to check on another media, or stirring other issues to divert attention," it said.

Sin Chew said it had for 90 years adhered to the principles of reporting the truth impartially, advocating the people's interests, and conveying government policy to the public.

On Wednesday, Sin Chew published its interview with Mahathir under the title "Tun Mahathir: The recognition of UEC needs to consider the feelings of Malays."

Following the report, MCA questioned the position of DAP leaders on Mahathir's interview, and asked if the prime minister had taken into account the feelings of the Chinese community.

Malaysiakini had sought the Prime Minister's Office's response to the criticisms.

In response, the Prime Minister's Office sent a copy of the recording of Mahathir's interview with Sin Chew, a transcript of which Malaysiakini published.

Malaysiakini's response

Malaysiakini notes that it is accused of "framing and slandering" Sin Chew by publishing the prime minister's interview transcript.

We would like to point out that nowhere in the transcript article did this news portal question Sin Chew's reportage or role as a media organisation.

Malaysiakini published the transcript so as to allow readers to know what exactly was said and enable them to make their own judgment.

We believe that advocating the people's interests also means providing them with thorough information and trusting in their wisdom to make their own conclusions.

Malaysiakini firmly denies framing and slandering Sin Chew, and leaves it to the wisdom of the readers to decide whether publishing the transcript is tantamount to this.

Malaysiakini has and will continue to play the role of a watchdog over those in power.

On this note, Malaysiakini would also like to highlight the importance of and its commitment towards the setting up of an independent Malaysian Media Council that will uphold journalistic ethics without government interference.