Tuesday, May 2, 2017


Journalism to me is a respected profession and only those with passion, high integrity and responsibility are suited for this job! 
As an accredited public relations practitioner, I have the highest respect for all my friends from the media.  They have and continue to play a big role in assisting me to disseminate important information to the public.  It is a partnership that I cherish.  And, in the cause of my engagement with them, I got to know many wonderful people and I am humbled that many of them are still my good friends until today!
However, some malicious reporting in a few media recently is worrying.  I have been the direct target of these malicious reporting in some of the media.
According to the code of ethics by the Society of Professional Journalists, ethics in journalism is defined as – “Public enlightenment of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist's credibility.”
It is indeed sad that recently a Tamil media published a story of a demonstration participated by primary Tamil school students outside their school compound in Kalumpang, Hulu Selangor.  This was in relations to an alleged shortage of teachers in the school.  This particular media failed in its moral, ethical and professional obligation to verify the alleged news before publishing it.
Incidentally, I am the Member of Parliament for Hulu Selangor and also the Deputy Minister of Education of Malaysia.  In no uncertain terms do I wish to state my strong objection and anger towards these irresponsible adults who put the life and safety of the students at risk by forcing them to demonstrate by the side of the street in front of their school.  Those responsible for this incident should be charged according to the law for endangering the lives of the students as well as other road users! 
I have published in detail the matters and actions taken related to this matter on my Facebook and many of my readers have condemned the actions of these adults who used innocent students to demonstrate for their own selfish agenda.
The issue on the shortage of teachers in the Tamil school was brought to my attention on 10 March 2017 during my meeting with the Headmasters of all the Tamil schools in Hulu Selangor.  I escalated this matter with the state and district education departments for an immediate solution.  The department assessed the issue and appointed 2 teachers to report to the school on 2 May 2017 (today). This information was communicated by the Headmaster of the Tamil school to the PIBG Chairman on 26 April 2017 and he thanked the Headmaster for resolving the matter.  On the morning of 27 April 2017, this same individual organised the demonstration outside the school for an issue that he is well aware off, has been resolved.
What is the motive of this individual in doing so?
Besides the PIBG Chairman, what was the motive of the Tamil media in publishing the news without verifying it with the Headmaster, the Ministry of Education or even myself?  Can the readers then consider this as false news?  What is the responsibility of this Tamil media towards its readers?
There are serious consequences when the media does not report the truth or practice fair reporting.  Should we consider this a deliberate act to sensationalise the news or pure ignorance?  Reporting the actual facts after the damage is done does not restore the credibility of the media when there is no known action by it to verify the facts before publishing!
Do we need something tragic to happen before the law is amended to hold these irresponsible people for reporting false news?

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