~ Fauwaz Abdul Aziz
Information Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek has been asked to explain the sudden disappearance of a popular television programme on state-owned RTM 2 which had seen a myriad of personalities airing their thoughts on current issues.
Among those who have appeared on the two-year old Chinese-language programme – called ‘What Say You?’ – were DAP parliamentarians Teresa Kok (Seputeh) and Liew Chin Tong (Bukit Bendera).
Speaking at a press conference at the Parliament lobby today, Kok asked if her appearance on the show last Sunday had led to the plug being pulled. She had shared her views on issues of corruption, judicial reform and the police force.
According to Kok, she was told that the programme was undergoing a ‘re-branding’ exercise. But this excuse, she said, led to more questions than answers.
“Why was it done in such a hurried manner without informing the audience? The producer is also in the dark (as to the reasons),” she told reporters.
“There have been rumors that it was because of my appearance on the show that caused the show to be stopped.
“I would like to ask the information minister to explain why (the reason ),” she added.
Return of Mahathirism?
Meanwhile, Liew revealed that there were rumours after the March 8 polls that the show’s anchor was slated for replacement because she had ‘strayed too far from the RTM policy’.
“It’s a disappointing and shocking decision,” said the MP, who has appeared on the show four times.
“I want the information minister to answer in Parliament,” he added.
DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang asked if the latest development signaled a return to the administration style of former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad which had seen strict governmental control over the media.
“It seems we are seeing an inkling of the return of Mahathirism,” said the Ipoh Timur MP.
“This would have happened during Mahathir’s time (where there was a) total clampdown on free media,” he said.
This article is taken from Malaysiakini.