KUCHING: Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah thanks federal Minister of Communication and Multimedia Gobind Singh Deo for his assurance that RTM and other official media platforms will not black out news and official programmes of Sarawak state ministers.
The state minister and Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) vice president said he will write an official letter to Gobind regarding the matter.
“I thank him for his fast response and request for me to write to him which I will,” he said yesterday.
Abdul Karim had on Friday complained of news blackout by RTM and Information Department of official functions of Sarawak ministers, including Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg since Pakatan Harapan (PH) took over Putrajaya in the May 9 general election.
Responding to Karim’s complaints, Gobind said the PH government did not support media blackouts, saying that the policy adopted by PH was that of press freedom.
He was also quoted to have asked Karim to write an official letter to him.
Thanking Gobind for the assurance, Abdul Karim however blamed the previous news blackouts to the work of some ‘little napoleons’.
“I believe that the blackout is the work of Little Napoleons who must have been giving the directives and issuing the circular, which I see as not healthy,” he said adding that blacking out state government official functions was not a healthy practice.
He was not sure if the previous Barisan Nasional federal government was doing the same thing to the Opposition-held states, but if it did, the people have spoken in the general election.
He nonetheless stressed that the Sarawak state government and the people should not be penalised just because they are not part of PH.
“We hope to see Malaysians united whether they are in peninsula, Sabah or Sarawak.
“If RTM and other federal communication agencies choose to blackout state leaders programmes, then there is nothing much we can do, but I can only say that such a move will further create division and hatred between the three regions,” he said.
He also explained that not all programmes of state leaders are political in nature, explaining that RTM need not give coverage if the programmes are about political activities.