Media outlets which “spun” Umno minister Hamzah Zainudin’s speech during the Umno general assembly will have to answer to God, said party secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor today.
Speaking at a press conference after attending a public transport ceremony in Putrajaya, Tengku Adnan said journalists have to be responsible for their reporting.
“I believe, after this, I will be (at fault), just like what Hamzah faced when he mentioned (the government’s) effort to reduce the cost of living in his speech, which was later spun to mean something else.
“I don’t know what will happen to this world, especially to all of you journalists. You are all responsible, what you are doing, is…
“Remember, you all are going to see God, and we will accuse (dakwa) you of lying and slandering towards the community, just to help some people gain success,” he said.
Earlier, he witnessed a signing ceremony of an equity acquisition contract to launch five electric buses, which is expected to improve the public transport system in the country’s administrative capital.
Hamzah, the domestic trade, cooperatives and consumerism minister, had recently expressed regret that certain media had “spun” his words on how prices of goods and services in Malaysia, are up to “God’s will.”
Hamzah said that some media and the opposition had tried to spin his explanation, and claimed the government did not do anything to address the cost of living, but instead left it to “God’s will.”
In his speech at the Umno general assembly, Hamzah said that the government non-interference in the free market was in line with a tradition established since the times of the Prophet Muhammad.
In making the point, Hamzah cited a hadith narrated by Abu Daud, in which the friends of the Prophet beseeched him to fix the price of goods.
Muhammad then responded: “Allah is the One who decrees prices, who takes and gives, and He is the provider. I hope that I will meet Allah with no one among you making any claim against me concerning issues of blood or wealth.”
Scholars have argued that the hadith means that price of goods should be determined by market forces.
‘Setia kawan’ watches
Meanwhile, when asked to clarify on viral images of Tissot watches, which Prime Minister and Umno President Najib Abdul Razak purportedly gave Umno delegates, Tengku Adnan declined to comment.
“Enough lah, Malaysiakini only asks nonsense (Sudahlah, ini Malaysiakini semua tanya bukan-bukan),” he said.
It was alleged in social media that the Tissot watches carrying Najib’s image and engraved with the wording “setia kawan PM Najib“ (friendship with PM Najib), were given to 5,793 delegates of the recently concluded assembly.