There must not only be a new National Information Policy, but also a new Information Minister who understands the Information Superhighway and the multi-cultural attributes of Malayisan nation


by Parliament Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Friday, September 29, 1995:

There must not only be a new National Information Policy, but also a new Information Minister who understands the Information Superhighway and the multi-cultural attributes of Malayisan nation

Information Minister, Datuk Mohamed Rahmat said in Kuala Terengganu yesterday that the committee chaired by Tan Sri Samad Ismail to draft a national information policy has been asked to go over its draft proposal to include new elements to keep abreast with current information technology mediums.

Doubts have been raised as to whether Malaysia has an Information Minister who understand the information technology revolution and the Information Superhighway in view of some of his recent speeches and statements on the Internet.

In the last three days, however, there has been another controversy which highlights the need not only for a new National Information Policy, but for a new Information Minister who understands the Information Superhighway as well as the multi-cultural attributes of the Malaysia nation.

On Tuesday, the Information Ministry banned Metro-Vision from airing on the Dragon Hour slot at 10.30 a.m. the Chinese classic Justice Bao series on the ground that the Information Ministry has “yet to allow constumed Chinese programmes to be screened on Malaysian television”.

This is the best illustration that although there had been “minor liberalisation” in nation-building measures in language, culture and education, DAP’s call for “Full Liberalisation” has still to be realised.

It is most unfortunate that the illiberal and irrational ban on costumed Chinese programmes was not raised by MCA and Gerakan Ministers at Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting so as to lift the ban.

The Government should lift its ban on Justice Bao and costumed Chinese programmes to respect the multi-racial, multi-cultural characteristics in Malaysia, or a Justice Bao type of justice would have to be sought in Parliament next month.