Hisham: ‘Some basis’ to Utusan’s report

By S Pathmawathy
May 13, 11 | Malaysiakini

Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein says there is “some basis” to Utusan Malaysia’s report on is a conspiracy to make Christianity the official religion of the country and install a Christian prime minister.

Hishammuddin said this in view of new evidence provided in a police report lodged in Penang today.

It is believed that he was referring to a police report this morning by Mohamed Razali Abdul Rahman, a DAP member, who attended the function mentioned in the report.

Yesterday, the ministry issued Utusan a letter of reprimand over its front page article on May 7 titled ‘Kristian Agama Rasmi?’ (Christianity the official religion?).

The letter was handed to Utusan’s editor-in-chief Aziz Ishak yesterday, when he was called to the Home Ministry to give an exaplanation on the report.

Hishammuddin (right) said Aziz’s explanation was similar to the police report lodged today.

“He (Aziz) was saying that there is some truth to what is reported, and today I was informed that there is a police report (lodged) that there is some basis to (the Utusan report),” Hishammuddin told reporters at the launch of drug rehabilitation centre in Chow Kit, Kuala Lumpur.

“I understand that there is police report saying that what was reported by Utusan did happen so this is what I’m stressing on, lets not be emotional on issues that touch on religion and race, let the authorities handle (it), the police specifically, to investigate. (For) the issues that we are looking at, the truth takes time,” he said.

“There are two sides to the coin, DAP can say one thing but the police report says otherwise. (News) reports which are sensational and ignite the sentiments of the people only brings chaos. So I hope the police is allowed to investigate.”

He agreed that Utusan had similar role to play in avoiding reports on sensitivities.

The minister added that the police are probing the overall issue including Utusan and two bloggers over their allegations about the plot.

Utusan’s report, which was based two blog postings by pro-Umno bloggers, accused that Christian pastors were in cahoots with DAP and were committing sedition for questioning constitutional provisions.

“It’s about whether it happened, on the issue of reporting, issue on the role of the bloggers, issue of people that were at the function. It cuts across the board. We are not pointing fingers at anybody,” he said.

‘It’s about finding the truth’

Asked about accusations of biased action against other media, in this case in circumstances where their reports contravened the Printing Presses and publication Act (PPPA) and whether the ministry felt the reprimand letter was enough, Hishammuddin said:

“I don’t know but it is not about finding fault, it is about finding the truth. What I’m stating here is when we are finding the truth, don’t get emotional when it comes to race and religion, do not politicise it and don’t make it a polemic directive.

“This time it might be Utusan, tomorrow it might be (Chinese language newspaper) Sin Chew (Jit Poh), the day after it might be one of the websites.

“A Chinese issue today might be a Malay issue tomorrow, a Christian issue the day after that and a Hindu issue the week after.

“It is not easy running a country that is multiracial and multi-religious, if we go on only looking at issues like this”.

He also denied that Umno’s political bureau had a hand in deciding Utusan’s editorial direction.

Hishammuddin urged all media to be careful and sensitive in reporting matters on race and religion and not merely publish sensational news.

He added that the media should have an internal mechanism to decide the boundaries when it comes to reporting on race and religion.

“If there is a problem, you have to have your own internal mechanism to check each other,” he said.

“If we take action against Utusan, what about the allegations against the Chinese papers? Then the Chinese papers will say what about the contents of the Tamil papers. And the Tamil papers will then look at the English papers. It will never end,” he reiterated.

  1. #1 by drngsc on Friday, 13 May 2011 - 8:54 pm

    Hi Kit,

    There are Trojan horses in your party. Good time to flush them all out, before next GE 13.

    We need to change the tenant at Putrajaya

  2. #2 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Friday, 13 May 2011 - 9:24 pm

    Looks like there are “mattress-carrying” members in DAP too.

    Hello Hisham, pls check the DNA of this “mattress-carrying” DAP member. Trojans too carry DAP membership card and then appear behind DAP’s back to whack the party.

    Looks like, sounds like UMNO startegy-lah.

  3. #3 by good coolie on Friday, 13 May 2011 - 10:46 pm

    If a group of Protestant pastors and a prominent opposition party member were locked shoulder to shoulder, head bowed down in prayer, it might have looked like a conspiracy to some, but there is no need to worry, believe me. Conspirators are never so transparently insidious. Besides, all Christians in Malaysia abide by the Constitutional provisions regarding Islam.

  4. #4 by Cinapek on Friday, 13 May 2011 - 11:33 pm

    The obscene haste in which Hisham is seizing on this straw is reminiscent of his actions during the cow head incident. Then, he very quickly jumped into the defence of the prepetrators to the extent of appearing with them at a press conference to defend them and their actions.

    He is doing the same thing now. I hope this person who made the report is a credible witness and not another one of those frogs who has been bought.

    What cannot be denied is that Utusan did publish that seditious report. For this act alone they should be suspended. If the police do indeed uncover evidence that the Christians has committed a seditious act, charge them in court under the relevant laws.

    Lets wait and see.

  5. #5 by nickyee on Friday, 13 May 2011 - 11:57 pm

    This is Malaysian justice:
    A newspaper reported the seditious words uttered in public by a politician, and the reporter was arrested under the ISA for her own protection.

    Another newspaper frontpaged unsubstantiated accusation against a whole community, and was let off with a warning.

  6. #6 by Bigjoe on Saturday, 14 May 2011 - 10:46 am

    It is NOT easy to run this country today BUT, in hindsight, it COULD have been easy to run Malaysia. Mahathir has been proven wrong. The NEP should have ended when it was slated to in 1990, Mahathir out of office in 1988 and we would not be in this mess now.

    But that is not even the issue. The problem is UMNO/BN is not making it easier to run this country. In fact, making it ever harder.

  7. #7 by zhukoilman on Tuesday, 17 May 2011 - 10:02 am

    Bigjoe ,the harder and the higher they are, the faster and the harder they fall, so lets pray and work towards their downfall come this PRU 13.

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