MCMC asked to withdraw letter barring broadcast of opposition speeches
KUALA LUMPUR, June 3 - The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has been ordered to immediately withdraw its letter barring private broadcasting stations from airing the opposition's speeches.
Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik said he wrote the letter to MCMC Tuesday and the order was effective immediately.
"It is not our policy to ask them to write a letter to ask the broadcast stations to stop airing opposition's speeches," he said at a press conference in the Parliament lobby on Tuesday.
Dr Lim said he did not know of the MCMC letter initially as he was overseas, hence the late response.
He said he only found out about it after reading it in the newspapers and learning of the motion to debate on it in Parliament.
MCMC chairman Dr Halim Shafie had issued a letter dated June 7 to private TV and radio stations requesting them to stop broadcasting speeches by leaders of opposition parties.
The Commission is an agency under the Ministry and had a say in the issuance of licenses for private TV and radio stations.
Dr Lim said MCMC could have construed that airing opposition speeches via recordings was wrong since Parliament proceedings were still not telecast live.
However, it has been a norm for both public and private TV stations to air clips of the proceedings during news segments or on RTM's Parlimen Hari Ini programme.
"The first thing I did was to investigate what happened. Whatever the reason, MCMC should not have issued the letter as it is not in line with our policy," he added. theStarOnline
Photocopy of the letter is from Screenshot