PETALING JAYA: Media watchdog Geramm (Gerakan Media Marah) urged Lim Kit Siang to respect press freedom after the DAP veteran apparently harangued a journalist during a press conference.
An altercation took place between the DAP parliamentary leader and a TV3 reporter during the press conference at the home of former minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim on Tuesday, where Kit Siang was seen berating the reporter who had directed a question at him.
During the incident, Kit Siang became visibly agitated and lost his cool when asked whether he would be speaking about the Bumiputra Malaysia Finance Ltd (BMF) and foreign exchange scandals differently if former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was not his ally now.
Kit Siang repeatedly accused the reporter of making a “baseless allegation,” and the crowd of DAP supporters jeered the reporter when he said he was from TV3.
Kit Siang also did not give any opportunity to the reporter to defend himself.
“Geramm would like to stress that all journalists have a right to ask questions and perform their duties without any hindrance,” Geramm said in a statement Tuesday.
“As a veteran politician, Kit Siang should be showing a good example by not losing his cool at a reporter who was only carrying out his duties,” it added.
In a related matter, Geramm also called on all parties to not act in a prejudicial manner against reporters from particular media organisations.
This was in response to Penang Chief Minister and Kit Siang’s son, Lim Guan Eng, threatening to take legal action against dailies News Straits Times and Berita Harian over what Guan Eng claims are “slanderous reports.”
Guan Eng had described the two publications as “master liars” that should be held accountable for their allegedly defamatory reports against him on the Penang mufti appointment issue.
“Geramm reiterates that we respect the right of any individual to seek justice from the media via the legal process. At the same time, we would also like to remind all parties to not act in a prejudicial manner against all reporters from the media in question,” it said.
Geramm also urged the two dailies’ editorial teams to observe the principles of ethical journalism in their daily operations, “to avoid further erosion of their credibility in this era of borderless information.”
Geramm is a loose coalition of journalists, media activists and representatives who fight for freedom of the press and its practitioners.
“Geramm stresses our stand as a non-partisan movement that works together with all who share the same aim of taking Malaysian journalism to a higher level, for the benefit of all,” it said.