Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hishammuddin denies demanding China Press editor’s resignation

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein today denied accusations by the Opposition that his ministry had threatened the China Press chief editor with suspension if the latter did not resign.

He said that the accusation, made by DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang in Parliament, was just the Opposition’s ploy to gain political mileage by sensationalising “common procedures”.

“No it is not true (the allegations). From what I know is that what happened with China Press was no different from the others (media publications) like Star and Al-Islam. What we did was merely to send them a show-cause letter and asked them for an explanation,” he said.

China Press was hauled up by the ministry after reporting on Saturday that Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan had submitted his resignation letter to the Prime Minister and the Home Minister.

The IGP’s term of office expires in September.

Musa has since denied this, accusing China Press of obtaining the false information from “underground sources”.

Hishammuddin had however confirmed yesterday that IGP would be replaced once his term expires, along with four other directors out of the seven divisions in the Royal Malaysian Police force.

“I know that China Press has already given its explanation on the matter but I am yet to receive the report on it. In any case, I do not want this to be focused on China Press along because we have taken similar action against the others. I am consistent on this matter,” he said.

Hishammuddin gave an assurance his ministry would be more than willing to accept the Chinese daily’s explanation if it is logical.

“However in this context, what they did is based on the root of journalistic ethics which is to report on the truth. Hence, when a resignation letter has not even been submitted, how can they write about it?” he said.

Hishammuddin also lambasted the Opposition backbenchers for staging a walkout from Parliament this morning when they were refused to be given leeway to debate a motion he had debated.

“This act of theirs to walk out like that shows that they are ready to do anything to garner support for themselves. They are ready to twist things around for the purpose of gaining political mileage,” he said.

Hishammuddin pointed out that the he had moved was traditionally moved during every sitting of Parliament.

“Furthermore, it is a motion to ensure that the safety of all those in Parliament are protected. Even then, they want to politicise,” he said.

A majority of Pakatan Rakyat MPs walked out of Parliament today when Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee stopped them from debating Hishammuddin’s motion.

The motion instructs the IGP to “take care that during the present session of this House, the passages through the streets leading to this House be kept free and opened and that no obstruction be permitted to hinder the passages of Members to and from this House that there be no annoyance therein and thereabouts; and that Setiausaha Dewan Rakyat do communicate this Order to the IGP”.

The Opposition had complained about the validity of such a motion in view of present uncertainties surrounding the IGP’s post.

Hishammuddin said that issues relating to posts or the status of serving police officers had nothing to do with the motion that he had moved.

“This is just a common motion tabled for the good of the MPs,” he said.

courtesy of Malaysian Insider

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