PETALING JAYA: The Institute of Journalists Malaysia (IoJM) has slammed Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Yusof (pic) for recently dismissing a question by a journalist, and then bringing up her ethnicity on his Facebook page.
They say that his actions are unacceptable and that he should retract his statements.
"The IoJM believes the race of a journalist should not be taken into account with regards to their ability to do their jobs, particularly in the context of simply asking the Minister to clarify his earlier statements, which were similarly controversial," they said in a statement on Wednesday (Aug 28).
Last week, Redzuan had posted on his official Facebook page about his encounter with a Malaysiakini journalist, with the caption “Menteri terkejut ada wartawan Bangsa Cina Tak tahu pelembagaan Malaysia” (Minister shocked that a Chinese Journalist does not know the Malaysian Constitution). The journalist had asked Redzuan to elaborate on his previous claim that the Malays have compromised too much with racists.
Redzuan, however, did not answer the journalist’s question, but questioned her about the Federal Constitution before dismissing her response.
Redzuan then shared the video with the caption on his official Facebook page, and this in turn attracted more racially charged attacks against said journalist.
"Ministers represent the interests of the country, and not any particular race or religion. As such, they should be held to a high standard of neutrality in view of national interests.
"We call on the minister to formally retract his statement, and for the government to hold its officials accountable for potentially divisive statements, as well as in assisting journalists in their pursuit of the truth, rather than questioning their knowledge of our shared Constitution," said IoJM.
Redzuan, who is also a Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia supreme council member, has in the past courted flak and has been trolled online for speaking about a "flying car", which is in fact an air mobility vehicle based on drone technology.