Hew owes media an apology
By ZORA CHAN
KUCHING: PBB Youth has joined chorus to slam DAP election publicity chief Hew Kuan Yau for labelling journalists in the country as “prostitutes”.
Its press secretary Sahrein Maloh said Hew owed the Malaysian media fraternity a public apology.
He said Hew should not use his position to make harsh statements against journalists or seek cheap publicity.
“Although Hew claimed that it was just his personal opinion, it is still unacceptable given that he holds a position in the party. He has no right to label journalists like that.
“Journalism started in 1806 in Malaysia and has played a big role in the country’s history. Hew has no right to label our journalists to something that is so low,” he said in a press statement yesterday.
On Feb 6, Hew had posted on his Facebook: “Our society has recently slammed some teenagers for not having self-respect by prostituting themselves for their material needs. Have we ever thought that there are reporters who have no self-respect and ‘prostitute’ themselves to Barisan Nasional for the same reason?”
It was reported that when Hew’s remark became public, Sin Chew Daily contacted the party’s disciplinary committee chairman Tan Kok Wai who said no action would be taken against Hew as he was merely being truthful.
Tan even went on to accuse several reporters in smaller towns of receiving “benefits” from local politicians.
On Friday, Hew posted on his Facebook: “I apologise for causing controversy by telling the truth.”
Sahrein, a former reporter, said Hew should realise that every media organisation and journalist, like everyone else of different industries and professions, had a role to play in nation building.
“They are carrying a heavy res-ponsibility too. Hew should experience the challenges of working as a journalist before commenting on other’s professions,” he pointed out.
“Does Hew’s labelling include the Opposition’s alternative media as well?”
Sahrein said Hew’s sweeping statement could just be a diver-sion to sidestep internal problems faced by Pakatan Rakyat such as contradicting opinions between DAP and PAS on Valentine’s Day celebration, seat allocation for the 13th general election and PKR’s leadership crisis.
In America and Britain, he said, such actions were known as publicist — creating issues or crisis to divert one’s attention from the real issues.
Sahrein said the media fraternity had done a good job to improve the political, economic and social landscape in the country.
“As a former reporter, I feel that Hew’s statement has hurt many journalists and it is disrespectful towards the media fraternity,” he added.