PUTRAJAYA: The media should refrain from playing up racial and religious issues stirred up by politicians, says Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa.
The Minister in the Prime Minister's Department said the media had a role to play in rebuilding Malaysia by moving away from negative issues.
"The Opposition today often uses racial and religious issues to attack the government, which gets highlighted by the media.
"When we were the Opposition, we always made it a point not to bring up such issues. Instead, we focused on more important matters such as cost of living.
"Every year, we come up with an alternative to the national budget. Today's Opposition didn't even bother to come up with their own alternative budget.
"We hope the media will highlight the issues that are vital," said Mujahid at a media appreciation dinner here on Friday (Nov 10).
Mujahid - whose portfolio includes overseas religious affairs - gave an assurance that the Pakatan Harapan government will always respect the freedom of the press, which it had fought for when it was the Opposition.
"I have a love and hate relationship with the media. But there is more love than hate. It is not for me to dictate how and what the media chooses to write. However, we hope that the press will report fairly on the government," he said.
Also present were his deputy Fuziah Salleh and Islamic Development Department (Jakim) director-general Datuk Mohamad Nordin Ibrahim.