Wednesday, July 17

Utusan Malaysia barred from covering Penang State Assembly

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GEORGE TOWN: The Penang State Assembly has barred Utusan Malaysia from covering its proceedings with immediate effect.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said a motion to bar Utusan was proposed due the preponderance of the newspaper in publishing slanderous news against the state government.

He cited an Utusan news report on Nov 11 last year which quoted Shahbudin Yahya (BN-Permatang Berangan) as saying that the state government had spent RM1.5 million to repair Seri Teratai, the residence of the chief minister.

“However, Shahbudin denied that he had ever made such statement when questioned at the State Assembly and this showed Utusan Malaysia had published a false report,” he said when winding-up debate at the state assembly here today.

He said the Rights and Privileges Committee had convened an inquiry and summoned Utusan chief editor but neither he nor a representative turned up.

Lim said it was worrying when the newspaper published a report which claimed that a group of Christian leaders wanted Christianity to be the country’s official religion recently.

Acting opposition leader Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya (BN-Teluk Bahang) objected to the motion and asked the state government to wait for the outcome of a probe to verify the authenticity of the report.

However, the motion was passed by the House.

The sitting of the 12 state assembly was adjourned sine die. – Bernama