‘Unparliamentary’ words and conduct to go on air


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 02 Jun 2004

KUALA LUMPUR: The next time any MP plans to use “unparliamentary” words, he has to watch it. 

Deputy Information Minister Datuk Zainuddin Maidin said RTM had decided to screen the “most interesting” events of the day in its half-hour daily Parliamentary report from the next meeting in September. 

“Interesting events will also include 'unparliamentary' behaviour and the use of words like binatang (animals),” he told reporters at the parliament lobby yesterday. 

Zainuddin cited an incident last week where DAP MP Karpal Singh referred to a Barisan MP as binatang and vice versa. 

“This is an example of what will be aired in the daily segments,” Zainuddin said.  

 

He said the proceedings would be telecast after the main news every night. Currently, RTM airs parliamentary proceedings every morning from 8.30am to 9am.  

 

However, Zainuddin said, the television station could not provide live telecast of the daily sittings as it was too expensive. 

 

“Although the DAP claimed that it will find a sponsor for the live telecast, I don’t think there are individuals who are willing to do so everyday as it will involve a lot of money. 

 

“We don’t have to waste public funds for the privileged few like Lim Kit Siang to watch,” he said. 

Expenditure for the half-an-hour daily coverage is estimated at RM100,000. 

Several MPs welcomed RTM’s plan to have a special programme to broadcast certain segments of the proceedings. 

However, they felt that the television station should highlight issues that were relevant to the people. 

Segamat MP Dr S. Subramaniam said the programme would not benefit the people if RTM broadcast only the “drama” of Barisan and opposition MPs. 

“Drama is not the main thing. The main thing is showing what elected representatives talk about,” he said.  

“It will be useful for the people to know what laws are being formulated and how they will be affected.” 

Kemaman MP Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the coverage should not highlight “drama” in the House for the purpose of running down MPs. 

He added that RTM should avoid screening propaganda against an individual.  

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili said RTM’s intention was good but it should get input from MPs.  

Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang said RTM’s plan for selective broadcasting could result in manipulation by the electronic media. 

“The programme should not deliberately present anyone particularly the Opposition in the worst position while Barisan MPs are given immunity.” 

“The whole idea of the broadcast should be to allow the public to know what the quality of debates in Parliament is,” he added. 

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