KUALA LUMPUR: The media should be more responsible in reporting rather that casting a spotlight on controversies that may lead to racial and religious discord, says Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
"We have decided to have more engagement with both the mainstream and alternative media so that the rakyat will be more aware of the situation in the country," he said after chairing the Pakatan Harapan presidential council meeting here on Friday (Aug 30).
He warned that there were those out to sow racial and religious discord among the people, and the the media had the tendency to highlight controversial issues.
"We find that there are those who stir up questions of race, religion, differences and all sorts.
"Such things can be resolved by the government in the Cabinet but because numerous reports give rise to anger among various quarters, small issues turn into big issues and drive a wedge between the races," he added.
Dr Mahathir said he was worried that it would be difficult to contain enmity between the races if the media continued to report on such negatives news.
"That is why I ask and appeal to the media not to play up race and religion.
"If you want to report, report the truth," he said.
When it was pointed by some newsmen that their some of reports were based on comments from Pakatan leaders themselves, Dr Mahathir said that this was due to comments from the party's lower rank leaders.
"They (lower rank leaders) are not aware of the problems and give knew-jerk responses," he said.
Asked if better engagement with the media might result in news reporting being stifled, Dr Mahathir assured that this would not be the case as promised under Pakatan's manifesto.
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