Press Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary – General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, on Monday, 29th Oct. 1984:
Call on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, To publicly name the three top UMNO leaders arrested by Anti – Corruption Agency on Oct. 16 to demonstrate that there would be no cover – up in the fight against corruption.
I welcome the establishment of the Malaysian Press Council by local newspaper groups which would act as a body to which the people could complain should they find that a newspaper had acted unfairly in publishing a news report.
I commend local newspaper groups for their preparedness to conduct self – examination of its journalistic conduct, for there is clearly a need for some form of a body to review newspaper reports where they had acted unfairly or irresponsibly. I hope that the Malaysian Press Council would not degenerate like other Press Councils in other countries which exist only in name, but are most unwilling to uphold high journalistic ethics and codes.
I would suggest that the first item the Malaysian Press Council should consider is the conduct of the Malaysian Newspapers in suppressing news about the three top UMNO leaders arrested in Penang by the Anti – Corruption Agency on Oct. 16, and release on court bail.
If the persons arrested had been the DAP leaders for instance, the persons arrested would have made sensational headlines.
This is a most unfair treatment of news report pertaining to different political parties.
I want to take this occasion to call on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, to release the names of the three top UMNO leaders arrested by the Anti – Corruption Agency in Penang on Oct. 16, to demonstrate that there would be no ‘cover – up’ of any form in the war against corruption.
I understand that one of these arrested is a Member of Parliament while another a State Assemblyman and the third political secretary to a senior Deputy Minister.
I also want a full public inquiry as to why news of the persons arrested by the ACA was suppressed.