State broadcaster RTM today refuted a Sarawak minister’s claim that it has been shunning Chief Minister Datuk Abang Johari Openg and state government events in its coverage.
Insisting that it has been fair in its reporting, it said in a statement today that in the first four months of this year, it had covered 181 activities that involved the chief minister, his Cabinet and the state government.
It said the claims made by Sarawak’s Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah on Tuesday were without basis, adding that RTM’s reports were carried on various platforms and in different languages and local dialects.
“In line with the government policy to uphold freedom of the press and the directive from the Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo, RTM is free to cover the activities of the state government.
“Therefore, RTM Sarawak will endeavour to carry out its coverage fairly and equally for all parties involved,” it said.
Karim, in an FMT report, had accused Gobind of “playing politics” by claiming that RTM would be fair in its coverage.
“Gobind should go back and learn. We are all Malaysians. We never said we are not Malaysians. This is a federal matter but we have RTM down here,” Karim reportedly said during the state legislative assembly sitting on Tuesday.
He added that while it was understandable if RTM did not cover events involving Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), it should give airtime to state programmes.
“RTM should give coverage if the programme has something to do with sports, culture or welfare because this helps to unite the people,” he said.