HUAZONG, or the Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia, recently hosted a media night, just a month after the official opening of its new headquarters in Seri Kembangan.
In his welcoming speech, Huazong president Tan Sri Pheng Yin Huah thanked the media for their support, and expressed hope that the good cooperation between the media and Huazong would continue.
Commenting on the proposal by the Attorney-General to increase the punishment under the Official Secrets Act (OSA), Pheng said, “Huazong is against such measures as we respect freedom of speech and expression.
“Besides hampering the media in reporting matters of public interest, such an act would also deter their sources from disclosing information.
“We are confident that the media will be professional in carrying out its duties and should be able to do so independently.”
It was reported that Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali had said the Attorney-General’s Chambers was looking into amending the Official Secrets Act 1972 to punish those who leak official secrets, including media practitioners who refused to disclose their sources.
The punishment includes the possibility of life imprisonment and caning.
Meanwhile, Pheng said Huazong was grateful for the people’s support in contributing towards the construction of the association’s building.
“Wisma Huazong represents the spirit of the Chinese community and Huazong itself.
“We have two structures that are scheduled to be completed soon, one of which is a museum on Chinese associations and guilds, and information on the Chinese in Malaya,” he said, adding that the museum would be dedicated to Tan Sri Ng Teck Fong, who is Huazong’s life honorary advisor.
Federation of Hakka Associations of Malaysia president Datuk Steve Chong Yoon On later presented a personal donation of RM1mil to Huazong’s building fund.
Present at the event were management representatives from various print and broadcast media.