Below is the reply to my intervention during Zam’s reply to MPs’ speeches on RMK-9
Zam: No ‘live’ for racist Malaysians
Beh Lih Yi
Apr 27, 06 3:55pm
Racist Malaysian viewers are not ready for live parliamentary proceedings, said Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin today.
According to him, local viewers were not up to the mark of their British counterparts.
This is because most Malaysians still think from a racial point of view, he added during his ministerial winding-up on the 9th Malaysia Plan in the Dewan Rakyat.
He was replying to Teresa Kok (DAP-Seputeh) who reiterated the opposition’s long-time demand for live telecast of the proceedings.
Earlier, Zainuddin said the coverage by the state-owned RTM station – which he oversees – is sufficient at present.
“The latest news of the proceedings are broadcasted hourly on (RTM) news (programmes) on television and radio, apart from live reporting from Parliament during the afternoon news,” he said
He added that the Tamil and Mandarin news sessions also gave focus to Parliamentary proceedings while the ministry has introduced a programme called ‘Parliament Today’.
The 30-minute programme shows a compilation of edited Parliamentary proceedings.
At this point, Kok interjected. She said the programme hardly featured speeches or views raised by opposition MPs.
She also claimed that many people have chosen not to watch RTM because the station is biased.
“RTM should learn from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) which practices impartiality and allows the views from both sides to be heard,” she added.
It was to this remark that Zainuddin said Malaysian viewers were not up to the standard of BBC viewers.
The minister reaffirmed this at a press conference later by saying that it was not time yet to have live broadcasts because Malaysians still have a ‘third world mentality’.
“We have not reached an intellectual stage where Malaysians can carry the wisdom of being able to agree to disagree,” he added.
Previously, the government cited high cost, audience rating and racial sensitivity as reasons for rejecting the proposal.