KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor acknowledged the contribution of media practitioners to society ahead of World Communications Day on May 16, saying that many issues could have been overlooked or deteriorated if they had not been highlighted.
At a gathering with members of the media on Tuesday (May 4), he said they had spent much time and effort to cover relevant topics including the difficulties faced by Sabahans and Malaysians in general.
"This includes environmental (issues), the plight of minorities, or current issues we (government) might have overlooked, which might have become worse if they were not highlighted," he noted.
However, he said there is still a need to verify the authenticity of a story in times like this when false information is easily spread.
"Together, we must fight the spread of fake news and incitement in this era of (social) media. That is why the government really appreciates the role of the media as an influencing party in society," he added.
In view of that, Hajiji hoped the media could help increase awareness on the need to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
"The immunisation programme is meaningless if we all do not come together. We must stay away from the propaganda initiated by irresponsible quarters. As long as there are areas in Sabah still exposed (to the virus), the whole state is at risk," he said.
Hajiji also said reporters and media practitioners in the field in Sabah will start getting their vaccinations from Thursday (May 6), as they provide an essential service.