Archive for October 14th, 2007

Abdullah the new patron saint for “the truth that is not the truth”?

The Information Minister, Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin was among the Umno Ministers joining Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at the Prime Minister’s Hari Raya Open House at the Putra World Trade Centre yesterday.

When I shook hands with him, wishing him “Selamat Hari Raya”, I remarked that he has become the spokesman for “the truth that is not the truth”.

Zam knew I was referring to Friday’s Malaysiakini report “Zam to media: No need to tell PM the truth”:

Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin has told editors not to play up negative news because Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s pledge to “hear the truth” does not apply to the media.

Zainuddin said this during a one-hour meeting on Wednesday at the RTM headquarters in Kuala Lumpur with the country’s top editors.

The country’s information czar is one of two top government officials to hold meetings with the media top brass this week.

Yesterday, chief secretary to the government Mohd Sidek Hassan in another meeting urged media organisations to avoid emphasising on news deemed negative against the government, such as the 2006 Auditor-General’s report.

According to sources, Zainuddin began the meeting by declaring that he would frequently meet editors to advise them about national issues.

However, he stressed that he would only “advise and not give warnings”.

The information minister claimed that he assumed the new role under the instructions of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Zainuddin then explained that Abdullah’s often repeated pledges of “listening to the truth” were only restricted to government officials and Barisan Nasional leaders so as to assist the cabinet in making decisions. Read the rest of this entry »