Hornbill Unleashed

May 19, 2017

See hopes state leadership will uphold freedom of the press

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:03 AM

See Chee How (PKR-Batu Lintang) is hopeful that former Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s legacy in upholding freedom of the press will also be the hallmark of the new administration under the helm of Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg.

See, when debating the Yang di-Pertua Negeri’s address during the DUN sitting yesterday, said he was particularly concerned with this aspect of civil rights of which Adenan had always, in his administration and practice, advocated and defended but this civil right is always precarious and chanced upon circumstances and the will and pleasure of another leader.

He recalled attending the Kenyalang Journalism Awards held in Kuching two years ago, where Adenan was the guest-of- honour.

Adenan, in his speech, encouraged the media to be daring in exposing truth and injustice in society in their reports, so that “members of society will ‘wake up’ rather than be mere bystanders, and inspire them be more proactive towards issues”.

This, Adenan said, would enable the people to be more conscious on the lack of facilities in the rural areas as well as those that had been provided by the government.

However, Adenan said it would only be fair that news reports must also touch on the positive happenings and not only highlight negative issues in the state. And he advised the media to also practise fairness in their reports by not accusing people without any back-up points or concrete proof.

“When people talk about the freedom of expression, it is usually seen as a right to support the opposition; it can also mean the freedom to support the government. There must be a balanced picture — do not think that only because one village has no water supply, the whole country is without water supply,” Adenan had said.

In simple words, See said Adenan expressed his clear understanding of the significance of the freedom of the press to a democracy in which the government is accountable to the people, that a free media functions as a watchdog that can investigate and report on government wrongdoings and it is also a vibrant marketplace of ideas, a vehicle for citizens to express themselves and gain exposure to a wide range of information and opinions.

“Essentially, civil rights come with economic rights. The maxim goes as follows: ‘We want employment and with it, we want the pride and responsibility and self-respect that go with the free access to jobs’.”

Source : @ The Borneo Post Online


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