PETALING JAYA: The Communications and Multimedia Ministry has cleared Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) of any wrongdoing after the broadcast agency was accused of sabotage over a live telecast event by the press secretary of Transport Minister Anthony Loke.
Minister Gobind Singh Deo said based on the full report provided by RTM, he found that it had complied with its existing Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).
"The SOP within RTM clearly states that where the Prime Minister attends an official function, then it is only his speech that is broadcast live.
"RTM cannot, therefore, be blamed for not having aired the speeches of a minister and the Mentri Besar of Negri Sembilan live at said event, as the Prime Minister attended and spoke at the event," he said in a statement Thursday (Feb 21).
Gobind had asked RTM for a report after Loke's aide, Lim Swee Kuan, had accused RTM of "sabotaging" the federal government after Loke's speech at the 2019 Chinese New Year Open House was not broadcast on Feb 17, saying that "heads must roll".
Meanwhile, Gobind noted that despite the SOP, it was still open to the organisers of any event to discuss with RTM for adjustments to be made to the items that were to be telecast live – including other persons being given coverage based on the news value for the given event.
"Unfortunately, in this particular case, there was no such request.
"RTM, in following its SOP, therefore rightfully only aired the Prime Minister's speech live for the event," he said.
Gobind noted the event organiser, the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry, had expressed agreement with the arrangement.
"I would not hesitate to reprimand anyone with a view to improving our services at RTM. However, in this case, RTM did nothing wrong.
"What it did was indeed keeping with the arrangements it had made with the organiser and the SOP applicable to such events.
"The Pakatan Harapan government welcomes all constructive criticism. The right to criticise and seek an explanation from the government of the day is the right of all citizens," he added.