Hishammuddin denies demanding China Press editor’s resignation

By Clara Chooi | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, March 16 – Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein today denied accusations by the Opposition that his ministry had threatened the China Press chief editor with suspension if the latter did not resign.

He said that the accusation, made by DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang in Parliament, was just the Opposition’s ploy to gain political mileage by sensationalising “common procedures”.

“No it is not true (the allegations). From what I know is that what happened with China Press was no different from the others (media publications) like Star and Al-Islam. What we did was merely to send them a show-cause letter and asked them for an explanation,” he said.

China Press was hauled up by the ministry after reporting on Saturday that Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan had submitted his resignation letter to the Prime Minister and the Home Minister.

The IGP’s term of office expires in September.

Musa has since denied this, accusing China Press of obtaining the false information from “underground sources”.

Hishammuddin had however confirmed yesterday that IGP would be replaced once his term expires, along with four other directors out of the seven divisions in the Royal Malaysian Police force.

“I know that China Press has already given its explanation on the matter but I am yet to receive the report on it. In any case, I do not want this to be focused on China Press along because we have taken similar action against the others. I am consistent on this matter,” he said.

Hishammuddin gave an assurance his ministry would be more than willing to accept the Chinese daily’s explanation if it is logical.

“However in this context, what they did is based on the root of journalistic ethics which is to report on the truth. Hence, when a resignation letter has not even been submitted, how can they write about it?” he said.

Hishammuddin also lambasted the Opposition backbenchers for staging a walkout from Parliament this morning when they were refused to be given leeway to debate a motion he had debated.

“This act of theirs to walk out like that shows that they are ready to do anything to garner support for themselves. They are ready to twist things around for the purpose of gaining political mileage,” he said.

Hishammuddin pointed out that the he had moved was traditionally moved during every sitting of Parliament.

“Furthermore, it is a motion to ensure that the safety of all those in Parliament are protected. Even then, they want to politicise,” he said.

A majority of Pakatan Rakyat MPs walked out of Parliament today when Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee stopped them from debating Hishammuddin’s motion.

The motion instructs the IGP to “take care that during the present session of this House, the passages through the streets leading to this House be kept free and opened and that no obstruction be permitted to hinder the passages of Members to and from this House that there be no annoyance therein and thereabouts; and that Setiausaha Dewan Rakyat do communicate this Order to the IGP”.

The Opposition had complained about the validity of such a motion in view of present uncertainties surrounding the IGP’s post.

Hishammuddin said that issues relating to posts or the status of serving police officers had nothing to do with the motion that he had moved.

“This is just a common motion tabled for the good of the MPs,” he said.

  1. #1 by yhsiew on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 9:57 am

    ///Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein today denied accusations by the Opposition that his ministry had threatened the China Press chief editor with suspension if the latter did not resign.///

    If Datuk Seri Hishammuddin could deny small thing like that, how about bigger things involving billions of ringgit? Can we really trust him??

  2. #2 by Bigjoe on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 10:13 am

    Its a tell tale sign when Hishamuddin says its not a big deal but he is going on and on about it. Its clear he is stressed and trying too hard for very small gains. There are so many big things going on and issue, why so much stress and effort over such a small possible gain? The only answer is something is not right between IGP and the two cousins and there are a lot of pressure on all of them. They are sweating way too much over small gains and advantages..

  3. #3 by ktteokt on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 10:27 am

    The Home Minister is NOT AT HOME!

  4. #4 by Bunch of Suckers on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 11:01 am

    In Bolehland, most of UMNO Ministers are double faces, and they often speak with fork tongues! They speak & accuse fiercely/vigorously and falsely toward certain races in front of UMNO meetings & gatherings! When facing media interviews or conferences, they flip and twist it with strong denies and elaborations! This is how they cheat and win votes! Could they academically and knowledgeably unqualified to be Ministers sitting in those offices! Flipping and twisting of the words are their norms?!

    Hopeless,… hopeless….Ministers. Eventually, the entire nation will be real hopeless under this bunch of suckers sucking around and twisting around….

  5. #5 by Jong on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 11:07 am

    Then why scream, Krisman what’s the big fuss for?

    Something’s definitely not right and we are curious what the HomeMinister is so jittery?Q?

  6. #6 by Jong on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 11:09 am

    …oops should read,

    “…why the HomeMinister is so jittery?Q? “

  7. #7 by dagen on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 11:43 am

    Reasonable explanation by keris. I think he is speaking the truth. Yes. We ought to believe him.

    … dagen sucking up to keris – the source of his next big bundle. You see dagen desperately wants a new wife – the cayenne 2011 model.

  8. #8 by johnnypok on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 12:07 pm

    He should withdraw his threatening remark “Hell will break loose if …”, failing which a police report should be lodged against him for threatening.

  9. #9 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 2:28 pm

    China Press committed an error of reporting : IGP’s tendering his resignation to take effect on 25th March (as reported) is not true and not the same as his retiring when his contract of service expires in September. Yet there must be a difference between incorrect reporting (that affects credibility of China Press) on one hand and a more serious charge of “false news” on the other. To distinguish one from the other, one should consider (1) causal link between the misreporting and motives of the Press & its editors and (2) causal link between the misreporting and its consequences.

    On (1), if the motives of incorrect report were deliberate, intentional to bring disrepute to the person reported in heedless disregard of reliability of sources’ information, then it may be nearer to false news. Here, as the Home Minister has himself confirmed, the transition process was already in place. “I already know who is going to replace the IGP. I already know who is going to replace the director of the commercial crime division…”so there is no need for us to speculate and report news without basis,” said Hishammuddin. However the basis is that he is in fact leaving – this part is accurate – though the timing, and the mode, resignation or retirement is wrong. Journalists have to verify their facts. They could have got the information from some people within the force. Would they have been entertained if they had verified with the Home Ministry directly? This brings us to (2).

    On (2), the question is : has the misreporting of the IGP alone was resigning, when 4 other directors are in fact also doing so (in sense of retirement) resulted or attracted unnecessary adverse inferences being drawn by readers against the IGP? It is not as if it was a misreporting that led to grave consequences like for eg an erroneous report of the IGP being sacked for some wrong doing that injures his reputation or some misreporting of Central Bank’s raising interest rates by 300 basis point in 2 days time that has caused Bursa Malaysia to immediately crash with billions worth of market capitalization wiped out due to it.

    Mistakes – due to honest but not so careful verification – not resulting in grave and injurious consequences to persons or public go to root of journalistic integrity/competence that the media alone that commits them suffers for its lapses which it can mitigate by expeditious retraction and apology. Mischievous or malicious intent behind reporting that seriously damages individuals’/public interest will fall under category of “false news” where action like suspension should be taken against the newspapers and in some cases even the journalists prosecuted for disseminating false news.

    At the heart of requiring to be maintained the clear distinction between incorrect reporting and false news is the acknowledgement that humans are not infallible; that freedom of speech & press is an important cornerstone to be upheld; that journalistic standards and truth of news have to be upheld; and persons reported by media have rights not to be misreported and have their reputation protected from being sullied – all the conflicting considerations to be weighed and balanced against.

    Looking at facts I tend to agree with YB Kit in saying “What’s the big a deal about the China Press report (warranting suspension)? It was a mistake, yes. (Newspapers in) other countries that report about presidents and prime ministers going to resign, (they) go through corrections and then, of course, their credibility suffers.

  10. #10 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 2:35 pm

    It was also reported that the editor-in-chief of China Press has been told to resign over the report which claimed that inspector-general of police Musa Hassan had tendered his resignation, and should the editor refuse, the popular Chinese daily will face three to six months’ suspension. (This was what Opposition wanted to debate in Parliament and walked out when it was denied).

    Now our Home Minister denied the above threat being issued by his Ministry. So is the above also “false news” and will he also ask the media that reported the above threat to show cause or face action?

  11. #11 by veddy.lum74 on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 5:37 pm

    mr.idiot h.mnstr,bfore u take any action against c.press,wat happen to the cow-head protesters?Utusan M’sia that ‘goreng’anti-non-malays issues everyday w/o fail since 308?Najis’s pa?ibrahim of perkasa that gvs racist remarks whenever he opens his ordour mouth?wat about u urself?inspite protests frm millions of non-malys,u still insists to carry-on,1 IGP hurts more or non-malays?

  12. #12 by chengho on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 6:46 pm

    do not drag the issue to a racist issue between Malay and non malay , if press telling lies even white lies you have to answer for it . Hisham is a warning minister do not take seriously his warning.

  13. #13 by tanjong8 on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 10:21 pm

    Chengho was an eunuch during the Ming Dynasty in the 15th century.

    Hisham is a keris waving minister. This will be recorded in history

  14. #14 by lkt-56 on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 - 10:38 pm

    Whether the home minister did or did not demand for the resignation of the China Press editor is known only to himself. What is clear for all to see is the ‘sharp reaction’ from the home minister with regards to the report by China Press. A case of over reaction? And it makes us wonder why…

  15. #15 by DCLXVI on Thursday, 18 March 2010 - 1:31 am

    chengho: “do not drag the issue to a racist issue between Malay and non malay”

    True. Let’s not make or support racist remarks like Ahmad Ismail, Nasir Safar, Abdul Rauf Yusoh & Ahmad Husni in one Umno hand while Najib promotes his ‘1Malaysia’ in the other Umno hand…

    chengho: “if press telling lies even white lies you have to answer for it.”

    But when a supposedly reliable source sabotages the press by telling a lie for some insidious political agenda, who has to answer for it?

    chengho: “Hisham is a warning minister do not take seriously his warning.”

    Brandishing an unsheathed weapon of war is a warning of intention to cause injury or death to the enemy. The rakyat should take this seriously by voting him out in the next GE…

  16. #16 by johnnypok on Thursday, 18 March 2010 - 12:02 pm

    “Threatening” is a serious crime. HM should be charged in court for all his actions. Maybe he is not mentally sound, and should be sent to Tg Rambutan.

  17. #17 by Jeffrey on Thursday, 18 March 2010 - 2:47 pm

    “No action will be taken against China Press over its report that alledged that the Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan had resigned. This was because the Home Ministry is satisfied with the explanation provided by the popular Chinese daily”. – Malaysiakini’s report Mar 18, 10 11:22am

  18. #18 by Thinking Two on Thursday, 18 March 2010 - 4:47 pm

    HM will be in old folks home.

  19. #19 by sumun osram on Thursday, 18 March 2010 - 8:50 pm

    YB LKS,

    Reliable information suggests that the whole issue of the IGP resigning as appeared in the China Press is infact has been engineered by the IGP himself. There appears to be truth in the article on this issue which was published in the web Malaysia Today.

    It was given to understand that the IGP was directed to tender his resignation earlier than his due date in Sept 2010. This was in consequence of the raid at his house by MACC which was reliably confirmed by MACC and Special Branch officers to be true, though discreetly.

    After the raid, the MACC referred this matter to PM Najib and the PM directed MACC not to pursue the matter and to deny the news which at that time was purported to be a rumour for the reasons:-

    i) It will cause embarrassment to the Govt which have recently extended the contract to the IGP;

    ii) Unnecessary attention internationally causing negative publicity for the country where the country’s top cop is caught for corruption;

    iii) Further worsen the negative perception and public confidence of the people towards the police.

    Taking into consideration the above factors, the PM ticked off the IGP and ordered him to tender his resignation early.

    The IGP on the other hand was not ready to leave yet for reasons known to himself. So, he engineered the news report as appeared in the China Press.

    He even suggested that China Press relied the story from underground sources. To make it convincing he said: “If the newspaper were to rely on underground sources to publish this news than the country is heading for disaster”.

    The IGP knew very well that the G’ment will not oblige to anything published before hand the G’ment announces it officially. So when this news surfaced, everybody has to go on a denial mode and say the news was not true. This gave some breathing space for the IGP to extend his time.

    On the next day after the news in China Press, the IGP called the Senior News Editor of The Star to his office. The News Editor was directed to call all the Bureau Chiefs of the States to find out the views of all the States CPOs and OCCIs on the matter. The IGP wanted all the CPOs’ and OCCIs’ to lend support to him. However, all the CPOs’ and OCCIs’ declined to comment.

    Why does the IGP need to do this if the news report is not true and not engineered by him?

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