At the press conference by Ahmad Ismail where he blamed the Sin Chew journalist for misreporting his alleged racial remark the Penang Opposition Leader Azhar Ibrahim, State Assembly person from Penaga publicly threatened to shoot the journalist concerned. The threat was heard and reported by numerous media-both on and off line. After the threat there were queries if the journalist was around -where the intention to do a mob attack against the journalist was made abundantly clear. The issue here is: is the politician entitled to make such a death threat against a journalist who could be reporting the truth as encouraged by the PM Badawi just a day before the press conference? As befitting a responsible politician should he not call for an investigation before he `order’ such a punishment?
As it is: there are 2 other journalists (from Guang Ming, Nanyang) who said they have also heard the offending remark-though they were not focusing on reporting about Ahmad Ismail. Other than that the DPM Mohd Najib, though was too late to arrive to witness Ahmad’s speech(Updated), has apologised on bahalf of Ahmad Ismail. Then there were 200 others who were in the audience.
So could everyone got it wrong?
From the inquiry of this web site the Chinese Language Journalist Association will report the case to the police soon, apart from taking the case of a journalist’s life being threatened openly, to National Union of Journalists and alsi Centre for Independent Journalism.
The journalist concerned-a graduate from USM mass communication faculty, has just returned from KL-where probably she was required to give her story to the Sin Chew HQ. She sounded worried and said she would stay away from UMNO meetings for the time being. The Chinese Language Journaist Association has held an emergency meeting this afternoon where police report is planned.
Reporters: He Said It
BUTTERWORTH: Two other reporters covering the event in which UMNO Bukit
Bendera divisional chairman Datuk Ahmad Ismail made the pendatng remarks
during the Permatang Pauh by-election, said they clearly heard what he said,
and were shocked and feeling comfortable with it.
Guang Ming Daily reporter Li Weihua pointed out that after covering the
first event of deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on 23
August, he went on to cover the DPM’s second event, in which he clearly
heard the pendatang remarks made by Ahmad Ismail, and was shocked by what
was being said.
He said Najib had not yet arrived when he reached Kampung Belah Dua that
evening. However, Ahmad Ismail was already giving his speech. As he was not
very familiar with the speaker at that time, he did not pay too much
attention to what was being said.
He went on, “But later he raised his voice louder and louder, and suddenly I
heard this: ‘Orang Cina cuma tumpang di sini sahaja.’ (The Chinese are only
He said after hearing this, he was very shocked and understood how serious
it could be.
Nanyang Siang Pau reporter Chen Minghao also said when he was at Kampung
Belah Dua to cover the event, he heard very clearly Ahmad Ismail’s pendatang
remarks, and felt very uncomfortable with it.
He said after covering Najib’s first event, he rushed to Kampung Belah Dua
to cover his second event. However, when he reached there, Najib had not
arrived yet, while Ahmad Ismail was alreary talking on the stage.
He said although he did not know who Ahmad Ismail was at that time, he heard
very clearly that he said, ‘Orang Cina cuma tumpang di sini sahaja,’ and he
felt very uncomfortable with what was being said.
China Press reporter Chen Fengquan, meanwhile, said he arrived too late and
missed that part on pendatang.
He said Najib was already talking on the stage when he reached Kampung Belah
Dua, and he missed what Ahmad Ismail had said earlier.
Sin Chew Media stands by reporter and story
Saturday September 6, 2008
PETALING JAYA: Sin Chew Media Corporation Berhad will stand by its reporter
who wrote the story about Bukit Bendera Umno chief Ahmad Ismail’s alleged
Its chief editor Pook Ah Lek said the newspaper would not apologise as it
had done nothing wrong.
“It is a normal tactic by politicians to look for a scapegoat when they are
under attack. It is just something he is doing to divert attention,” said
Penang opposition leader: Reporter should be shot
By Adib Zalkapli
GEORGE TOWN, Sept 5 – Penang opposition leader Datuk Azhar Ibrahim,
who was at the press conference to show support for Bukit Bendera Umno head
Datuk Ahmad Ismail, criticised the reporter from the Chinese newspaper who
allegedly twisted Ahmad’s words during the Permatang Pauh by-election
However, the state Umno secretary did not name the reporter but claimed that
only one Chinese publication reported Ahmad’s statement.
“What was written may lead to a racial riot. If such a thing happens, he is
the first person that should be shot,” he said to loud cheers from Umno
supporters who packed the meeting room at Menara Umno here.
Azhar also called on the police to investigate the reporter to find out the
“This issue was blown out of proportion just because of one idiotic
reporter. Why should anyone believe him… did he ask Datuk Ahmad for an
explanation,” he said.
“Did he just write or record the speech? If there is a recording, he should
show it to us… this is not a small matter,” said the Penaga state
Journalists who were present at the press conference expressed shock with
Azhar’s comment but vowed not to be intimidated.
“It is a form of intimidation, but the threat will not change the way I do
my work,” said Low Chia Ming of Malaysiakini’s Chinese edition.
Kwong Wah’s Ang Yee Shuan also agreed. “I wasn’t there at the rally, but I
am sure there were other media representatives who can back the report,” she
told The Malaysian Insider.
Only Chinese newspapers reported Ahmad’s remark at the rally on Aug 23 in
Kampung Pelet near Bukit Mertajam.
Earlier, Ahmad said the reporter should apologise to every Malay and Muslim
in the country for inciting racial hatred.