Thursday, November 21, 2013

Veteran journalist raps Shahidan for scolding reporters over Rosmah issue

NOVEMBER 21, 2013
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim has been reminded that a journalist 's job is to report the news, and not to represent the country to attract foreign investment.
Former New Straits Times group editor-in-chief Datuk A. Jasin (pic, left) said reporters could write positive reports about the country and this they had done many times over.
“Positive reports in the local media have helped to convince investors to pour capital into the country.
“That is the role of journalists – to present news and not to represent the country to attract foreign investment,” he said in a blog post.
The remark was made in defence of reporters who were scolded by Shahidan at the Parliament lobby yesterday over the bad publicity they had given the Prime Minister's wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, by highlighting the opposition's complaint against her use of a government jet to attend the Qatar International Business Women Forum in Doha last week.
"If you are a good person, you will bring investors into the country. You have created a lot of hatred towards her.
"I am sad because everyone is creating hatred towards her. How many investors can you bring to Malaysia?"
"Nothing! She has done so much for the country for free," Shahidan had told reporters at the press conference yesterday.
Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman also said in Parliament that Rosmah had been invited to the women's summit in her personal capacity and it was not an invitation to the government.
Kadir said although journalists did not have access to jets to move around and promote the country, they had done a good job promoting and writing about it.
"Anyway, are there any journalists who have their own private jets or can use the government's executive jet to encourage investors to come?
"They might get to ride on it once or twice. That also if the prime minister or any of the Cabinet ministers invite them," he wrote in his blog.
Kadir said Rosmah’s actions were open to debate by everyone as Malaysia is a democracy.
"Shahidan can defend Rosmah and the opposition can argue it on grounds of check and balance," he said, adding that with a bigger representation in the Dewan Rakyat, the opposition would be criticised if they did not speak out against Rosmah’s use of the government jet.
The former editor-in-chief of the New Straits Times also said that it was imperative for the public to debate the matter.
"We should let our voices be heard because this is our country and the money spent by the government is our money," he added.
Kadir, however, called on the people to not be depressed.
"In less than five years, we can vote again. It’s just that during this time, many more issues will be twisted," he said. – November 21, 2013.

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