KPRU Urges Clarification From BN On The Ban Instituted Against Online Media Portals

Think tank Political Studies for Change (KPRU) urges Barisan Nasional (BN) to reverse its instituted ban on the online media portals during this run up to the 13th Malaysian General Election (GE13) as it does not the reflect the good faith by BN and Umno towards the media freedom.

Online news portals Malaysiakini, The Malaysian Insider and KiniTv have been banned from covering the announcement of BN’s election candidates at Umno headquarters yesterday. Proponents might agree with the ban by saying this is in line with the decision on the opposition parties to ban Utusan Malaysia from covering news from the opposition.

Yet, what must be considered is there are distinctions between the ban on the three online media portals and the ban on Utusan. The distinction lie in the fact of the inability of Utusan to report news without distorting the truth as well as providing opportunities for both parties to a story to voice out their own clarification. It is also because Utusan is usually associated with reporting biased reports that place BN and Umno in good light and at the same time, spreading false news concerning the opposition. What to also be noted is the recent string of litigation suits in which the court has on several times concluded that Utusan is held liable for the false reporting concerning the opposition.

All three online news portals Malaysiakini, The Malaysian Insider and KiniTv on the other hand are usually associated with fair reporting in which both parties to a news report are given the opportunity to give their explanations and defend their decisions and actions. While Utusan is usually associated as being a pro-BN and Umno newspaper, that infamous title is not applicable to be used on the three online media portals that were banned from covering news relating BN and Umno.

Just as the online media portals are given the responsibility to report fair and concise news reports, so are political parties who have the responsibility to give reason and cause for banning a media online portal from covering their political party. The ban instituted on the three online media portals are showing BN and Umno as failing to have the ability to accept news reports that do not run parallel with their opinions although BN and Umno have been given the fair opportunity to explain themselves as well as defending their opinions and actions.

KPRU urges BN and Umno to reverse its ban and show the voters that BN and Umno are fair and mature political parties. BN and Umno have been given the opportunity to show the voters that they are a political party that emphasizes media freedom but this decision is a reflection of the complete opposite. The failure by BN and Umno to provide an infallible justification for the ban on Malaysiakini, The Malaysian Insider and KiniTv mirrors the mala fide intention made against all three online media portals. Hence, a justification should be given to avoid a misunderstanding between BN, Umno and the media as well as the public.

 

**Malay

KPRU Gesa Penjelasan BN Berhubung Larangan Liputan Berita Media Atas Talian

Badan Pemikir Kajian Politik untuk Perubahan (KPRU) menggesa Barisan Nasional (BN) membatalkan larangan ke atas media atas talian dalam perjalanan Malaysia kepada Pilihan Raya Umum ke-13 (PRU13) kerana ianya tidak mencerminkan niat baik BN dan Umno kepada kebebasan media.

Portal berita internet Malaysiakini, The Malaysian Insider dan KiniTv telah dikenakan larangan meliputi pengumuman calon pilihan raya BN di ibu pejabat Umno semalam. Para penyokong mungkin akan menyatakan ini adalah selari dengan tindakan parti pembangkang meletakkan larangan ke atas surat akhbar Utusan Malaysia daripada meliputi berita pembangkang.

Akan tetapi, terdapat perbezaan di antara ketiga-tiga akhbar tersebut dan akbar berita Utusan. Perbezaannya terletak pada ketidakupayaan Utusan untuk bukan sahaja melaporkan berita secara benar dan memberi kedua-dua pihak peluang untuk memberi penjelasan, ianya juga adalah kerana Utusan sering dikaitkan dengan berita yang bersifat berat sebelah iaitu melaporkan parti politik BN dan Umno dalam sudut positif dan pada masa yang sama menyebarkan berita palsu mengenai pembangkang. Ini berikutan Utusan terlibat dalam beberapa kes saman dan didapati bersalah oleh mahkamah kerana melaporkan berita yang tidak tepat mengenai pembangkang.

Ketiga-tiga Malaysiakini, The Malaysian Insider dan KiniTv pula dikaitkan dengan laporan berita yang adil di mana kedua-dua belah dalam sesuatu laporan berita diberi peluang untuk memberi penjelasan dan membela tindakan dan keputusan mereka. Sementara Utusan telah dikaitkan sebagai akhbar pro-BN dan Umno, gelaran itu tidak terpakai kepada ketiga-tiga media atas talian yang dilarang untuk meliputi BN dan Umno.

Sepertimana media atas talian diberikan tanggungjawab untuk menyiarkan laporan berita yang tepat dan adil, begitu juga parti politik harus memberikan sebab dan punca melarang sebuah media atas talian meliputi parti politik mereka. Larangan ke atas ketiga-tiga media atas talian ini menunjukkan BN dan Umno tidak mempunyai keupayaan untuk menerima laporan berita yang tidak selari dengan pendapat mereka walaupun BN dan Umno telah diberikan peluang untuk menjelaskan diri serta membela pendapat dan tindakan mereka.

KPRU menggesa BN dan Umno menarik semula larangan tersebut dan menunjukkan kepada para pengundi bahawa BN dan Umno merupakan suatu parti politik yang adil dan matang. BN dan Umno mempunyai peluang untuk menunjukkan kepada para pengundi bahawa mereka adalah sebuah parti politik yang mementingkan kebebasan media akan tetapi, keputusan ini mencerminkan sebaliknya. Kegagalan BN dan Umno memberikan sebab yang kukuh untuk menjelaskan keputusan mereka untuk melarang Malaysiakini, The Malaysian Insider dan KiniTv memberikan gambaran bahawa larangan ini dilakukan dengan niat jahat terhadap ketiga-tiga media atas talian tersebut. Lantas, suatu penjelasan haruslah diberikan untuk mengelakkan perselisihan fahaman antara BN, Umno dan pihak media serta orang awam.

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