PERSATUAN PROMOSI HAK ASASI MANUSIA (PROHAM)
A CALL FOR RESPONSIBLE JOURNALISM
The Perstuan Promosi Hak Asasi Manusia (Proham) expresses great concern in the unprofessional way a local daily has acted in betraying the basic principles of responsible journalism. From its investigation of various media reports, Proham is now able to conclude that the Utusan Malaysia headlines “Kristian agama rasmi?” and “Amaran Polis” are based on an unverified blog article, without any reference to the concern parties mentioned.
The matter at hand is highly sensitive and the daily can be found to be guilty of orchestrating racial and religious conflict. Due to the insensitive nature of its news coverage on Saturday and Sunday the Utusan Malaysia is also guilty of misleading its Malay and Muslim readers. Furthermore the Utusan Malaysia can be construed to be undermining national unity and the 1 Malaysia agenda of our Prime Minister, Dato Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak.
In addition the authorities in the Federal administration including the Home Affairs Minister, Information Communication and Culture Minister and the Deputy Inspector of Police have assumed the reporting in Utusan as fact and have issued caution statements. They have also failed to caution Utusan Malaysia in its coverage of this news.
Proham affirms the freedom of the media as a human right but at the same time calls on all parties in both the traditional and new media not to fabricate or manipulate news but act in a responsible way especially in reporting matters pertaining to racial and religious issues.
Proham calls on the Minister of Home Affairs to act ‘without fear and favor’ and investigate Utusan Malaysia and the two blogs that have posted the said article. Proham calls on the Ministry to take appropriate action if what was published is unfounded. This occasion provides the Najib administration an opportunity to act against the extremist elements in our society and call for moderation and tolerance.
Proham also calls on all parties to respond in a rational manner upholding the fundamentals as enshrined in our Federal Constitution and Declaration of Human Rights.
Prof Dato Hamdan Adnan
Deputy Chairman, Proham Malaysia
Tel 013 208 7172, Email : email@example.com
May 8, 2011