GEORGE TOWN – Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng disagrees with the calls to shut down Mandarin language daily Nanyang Siang Pau.
He said the publication has apologised and retracted a caricature deemed insulting to Parliament Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia and PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.
He added if Nanyang was closed, then publications spreading lies and creating hatred among Malaysians should be closed and named a Malay language broadsheet as an example.
He said he has taken the broadsheet to court several times and won, noting freedom of the press did not mean the freedom to lie.
Lim added publications should also be given the opportunity to admit their errors, be punished for their mistakes but not to be closed down.
“Charge them if they do anything wrong, but not to the extent of closing down papers,” he said in a press conference today.
Lim was asked to respond to calls made by some quarters unhappy with Nanyang Siang Pau on the portrayal of the two over the issue of RUU355, a bill, which among others, increases the penalties the Syariah Courts can mete out against
On a separate issue, Lim said his administration will insist on Penang Port Commission (PPC) deepening the north channel so that bigger ships could call at Penang Port besides rebuilding the abandoned marina.
He was referring to reports that Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB) and PPC would not deepen the channel and rebuild the marina respectively.
He said the concession terms for PPSB was to deepen the channel, estimated to cost about RM353million, and the state will make their insistence known through the State Secretary who sits on the PPC board.
He also said the marina should be rebuilt as the facility benefited Penang and the location was a strategic one, pointing out those docking could walk straight into the city.