Kit Siang wants Nazri to warn NST boss over racial overtones

KUALA LUMPUR, July 21 — In response to Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz’s warning yesterday not to turn Teoh Beng Hock’s death into a racial issue, Lim Kit Siang today asked the law minister to target Umno-controlled newspapers instead.

Lim insisted that it was Umno’s publications which have turned the death into a racial issue.

“Does Nazri endorse Zainul Arifin’s communal writings and if not why is there no warning from him to the New Straits Times group and its managing editor?” said Lim in a statement.

“Zainul Ariffin has made a most racist and irresponsible statement, completely unbecoming of a top journalist heading a national daily,” he added.

The Ipoh Timor MP was referring to an article published in the Sunday edition of Berita Harian slamming the critics of the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC), and accusing them of attempting to undermine Malay institutions.

Zainul, the group managing editor of the New Straits Times group which owns Berita Harian, also asked in his article why Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim would question “those of his own race to act fairly”.

Teoh, a political secretary to Selangor executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, was found dead outside Selangor MACC headquarters on July 16, one day after he was called in for questioning.

“I have always regarded MACC, and before this the ACA, as a Malaysian institution and criticised it of any failings not because it is a Malay-controlled institution but because it is a Malaysian institution,” said Lim.

“Is Zainul Arifin suggesting that the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal is a Chinese scandal because three MCA Ministers and four MCA Port Klang Authority chairmen are now implicated in it?” he added.

Lim said the government would have acted differently if such articles were published in Tamil or Chinese newspapers.

“I shudder to think what would happen to Chinese and Tamil newspapers if their editors or writers had played the racial card like Zainul Arifin as their newspaper licences would have been suspended if not revoked immediately?” asked Lim.

MI
21/07/09

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