by : K Pragalath
Lim Guan Eng wants police to act against news agencies for falsely reporting that Muhyiddin accused non-Muslims for mocking Islam.
PETALING JAYA: Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has found an unlikely ally in Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng who has come to the defence of the former after being portrayed by the media as blaming non-Muslims for tarnishing Islam.
“DAP demands immediate action by the police against Bernama and New Straits Times (NST) under the 1984 Printing Presses and Publications Act or the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 for printing false news that Muhyiddin blamed non-Muslims for mocking Islam and that he referred to the dog trainer’s Hari Raya video clip.
“He had clarified that he did not specifically mention that non-Muslims belittled and mocked Islam of late, in his widely reported July 30 speech and was only making a general statement.
“On July 31, news organisations such as Bernama and NST had quoted Muhyiddin mentioning “another disturbing video clip” which he claimed was insensitive to Muslim sensitivities and blamed non-Muslims for insulting the sanctity of Islam when Muslims do not make fun of other faiths,” said Lim in a press statement today. He is also the DAP secretary-general.
Bernama had quoted Muhyiddin as saying: “Muslims do not insult the religion of non-Muslims such as Christianity and Hinduism. But non-Muslims are insulting our religion.”
He was reported to have said that in relation to a recently surfaced three-year-old Aidilfitri dog video that featured dog trainer Maznah Mohd Yusof.
If Bernama and NST are found guilty for publishing false news, they can be fined a maximum of RM20,000 or three years of imprisonment under section 8A of the 1984 Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984.
Section 233(1) of the Multimedia and Communications Act 1998 makes improper use of network facilities or network service an offence. If found guilty the media agencies would face a maximum fine not exceeding RM50,000 or imprisonment not exceeding one year or both.
In defending Muhyiddin, Lim said that the two news agencies were creating a rift between the Muslim and non-Muslim communities in Malaysia.
“DAP believes in Muhyddin and that both New Straits Times and Bernama lied to stoke racial tensions by creating enmity, hatred and fear between Malaysia’s Muslim and non-Muslim communities.
“As a victim of repeated lies by these news organisations, I would believe that Muhyiddin is also a victim of such lies. Only by punishing these news organisations, will they stop spreading such lies that threaten the very fabric of Malaysian nation-building and unity,” he said.
Action Against Utusan Too
Ironically Lim’s statement today comes just two days after DAP members lodged a police report against Muhyiddin.
On Friday, several DAP members, in their police report wanted the police to investigate Muhyiddin under the Section 298A of the Penal Code and Sedition Act for making the statement.
Lim also called for similar action to be taken against prominent Malay daily Utusan Malaysia for a report involving Selangor acting police chief, A Thaiveegan.
“The police will not hesitate to act against parties who distribute seditious information using social networks on the issue of the school,” Thaiveegan was quoted as saying in Utusan Malaysia on July 25.
The Police However Refuted The Report The Following Day.
Lim is however pessimistic that the government would take action against all the three dailies for spreading false news because the BN-led federal government practiced double standard and selective persecution by allowing pro-government media agencies to go scot free.
“No action was taken against Utusan Malaysia for openly calling for the bloody May 13 racial riots to be celebrated as a holy day,” said Lim to further illustrate his point. (FMT)