by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, 21st May 1991:
Call on Information Minister, Datuk Mohamed Rahmat, to explain whether the rescheduling of RTM and TV3 programmes next month would mean reduction of television time for Chinese-language films and programmes.
Information Minister, Datuk Mohamed Rahmat, said on Sunday that RTM and TV3 will reschedule their programmes from next month to slot in more local programmes during prime time.
Datuk Rahmat said the rescheduling, done on the directive of the Ministry, was consistent with the Prime Minister’s recent call to the television stations to reduce sex and violent scenes in their programmes and is part of the move towards getting local stations to air 80 per cent local programmes and 20 per cent foreign ones by the year 2,000.
The Information Minister did not tell the full story of the background to the rescheduling of RTM and TV3 programmes during prime time.
In fact, one major factor was the pressure mounted by certain Malay political and cultural groups against the screening of Taiwan and Hong Kong films over RTM and TV3.
It is most unfortunate that the MCA and Gerakan Ministers and Deputy Ministers, who claim to hold a watching brief to ensure that the rights of all races, languages and cultures are equally protected in government actions, had failed completely to counter these pressures.
I call on the Information Minister to clarify whether the slotting of more local programmes over RTM and TV3 during prime time beginning next month would mean the reduction in television time for Chinese-language films and programmes over RTM and TV3.
It would be most unfair and unreasonable if Chinese language programmes over RTM and TV3 are reduced because the government is giving in to the extremist pressures of Malay political and cultural groups who would want to see RTM and TV3 telecasting only Bahasa Malaysia films and programmes and who refuse to accept and recognise Malaysia’s multi-racial, multi-lingual and multi-cultural character.
DAP hereby give notice that we will be monitoring the RTM and TV3 programmes next month and we will oppose any attempt to reduce television time for Chinese language films and programmes over RTM and TV3.