Ministers not mature enough to deal with media issues, says Johan Jaaffar

01 Apr 2023 12:09pm
Tan Sri Johan Jaaffar
Tan Sri Johan Jaaffar

SHAH ALAM - National Journalism Laureate Tan Sri Johan Jaaffar has condemned Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil for criticising Berita Harian's Facebook post regarding the expected increase in the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR).

In a statement today, Johan said that Fahmi's statement that the report was a fraud and slander is completely inappropriate and irresponsible.

He said that Fahmi, as the minister responsible for the media and given responsibility as a government spokesperson should understand that the report quoted the views and forecasts of analysts.

"This is a common practice in news reporting as well as the views of political analysts quoted for the purpose of news or current political reports," he stated.

"In a country that practices democracy, all views, whether supporting or opposing the government should be given a place," he added.

He also highlighted that media channels are not official government portals or pamphlets and Fahmi's statement has instilled public distrust in the media and affected the reputation of the local media.

Johan pointed out that Fahmi has previously promised that the media will be free to report within the existing legal framework.

He expressed disappointment that the minister criticised reports on Unity Government's perception and score made by the five mainstream media.

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"I see an unhealthy tendency when some ministers dispute media reports that are not on their side. I think this happens because the ministers are not mature enough to deal with media issues," he said.

Fahmi had earlier criticised the headline given to the article which was posted by Berita Harian on Facebook, saying that it was "slander".

He claimed the headline had insinuated that both government and Bank Negara had agreed to increase the OPR.

Fahmi however said he has no issue with the report but maintained his stance on the article's alleged misleading headline, which he said was unfair to Bank Negara and the government.

Fahmi said he had met with Media Prima's top management and BH group editor Datuk Ahmad Zaini Kamaruzzaman after Friday prayers yesterday to discuss the matter.

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