TV, radio told to demonise Bersih rally

By Lee Way Loon
Jul 1, 11 | MalaysiaKini

With the Bersih 2.0 rally just around the corner, the authorities have launched a media campaign to label the rally as an illegal gathering to the extent that TV stations are required to submit daily reports detailing their news coverage on the rally.

Malaysiakini learnt that the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), which oversees all private TV and radio stations, has directed the broadcasters to state the number and content of news related to Bersih in their reports.

Yesterday, the commission also invited representatives from 22 electronic media and telecommunications operators to attend a one-day seminar titled ‘Content Monitoring Seminar 2011’ at its auditorium in Cyberjaya.

According to the MCMC letter issued to the electronic media, a copy of which was obtained by Malaysiakini, the aim of the seminar is to “discuss compliance with licensing criteria and other relevant provisions”.

Editors who attended the seminar told Malaysiakini that they were implicitly advised by the MCMC not to refer to the rally as “Bersih rally” but as “illegal gathering” in their news coverage and to discourage members of the public from taking part in it.

On July 9, the day of the rally, footage showing police using violence on protesters is considered taboo, the editors said.

Instead the news should highlight the difficulties and inconvenience caused by the rally to the people, as well as scenes of protesters heckling, public property being vandalised and massive traffic congestions.

RTM already playing the role

State-owned RTM TV stations have been airing street polls against the rally on an almost daily basis in the past week.

Messages telling people to stay away from the rally are also being aired daily over both RTM and MCA-owned Mandarin radio station 988, which has highlighted the rally’s status as illegal.

Most of the mainstream local dailies, meanwhile, have already been referrring to the Bersih 2.0 rally as an “illegal gathering”.

Even the Chinese dailies, which exercise comparatively greater editorial independence, are leaning toward a conservative stand on this issue.

Both China Press and Nanyang Siang Pau have in their editorials recently dissuaded the people from taking part in the rally in order to “protect the national security”.

Among others, they recalled the May 13 racial clashes of 1969 in order to convince their readers about the potential harm the illegal assembly could bring about.

Websites warned

Meanwhile, MCMC has warned it would shut down websites deemed a threat to national security, including those promoting the July 9 rally.

MCMC chief strategy officer Mohamed Sharil Mohamed Tarmizi told the Star that the commission would not hesitate to take action against any website for breaching the Communication and Multimedia Act.

Anything deemed illegal or wrong in the real world also applied to the cyber world, said Sharil.

  1. #1 by voice2009 on Friday, 1 July 2011 - 7:12 pm

    Use your common sense

    Those corrupted politicians will be charge of corruption if lose caused of clean, free corruption, transparent election

    Those corruption politicians would use threat, twist the laws, forces to stop it

    Now, it is up to you Malaysians

    Want to break free for corruption-free country ‘BERSIH’


    Still want to govern by corruption politicians ‘KOTOR’

    Make your stand

  2. #2 by Joshua on Saturday, 2 July 2011 - 5:24 am

    all the gang of robbers..working in cohorts

    very sad indeed.

    still have a ray of hope here.

  3. #3 by cemerlang on Saturday, 2 July 2011 - 10:40 am

    From small time actors and actresses to animations, they are shown. RTM being a government department is a tool to be manipulated. They are under orders to do so. Think. If you are so clean, do you need to be told to clean up ?

  4. #4 by monsterball on Saturday, 2 July 2011 - 11:37 am

    From a BERSIH rally much instructions to so many groups of people.
    How come a clean government behave like this?
    Why don’t Najib declare the 13th GE date and solve all problems?
    I guess….the signals are all bad in each provoke…insult …..bully…arrest to get Malaysians scared stiff or angry.
    Either one will serve him well.
    I have never seen a PM..not even sleepy Dollah keeping quiet as if powerless …to let matters go worst .
    In fact..he rubbed in by telling lawyers not to walk at BERSIH rally.
    Does this mean he knows the BERSIH walk will go on?
    Unbelievable…one word “BERSIH” gets the government so hot headed and bully for no reasons.

  5. #5 by k1980 on Saturday, 2 July 2011 - 12:05 pm

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