Bernama TV host who name-called Al Jazeera says she's 'patriotic'

·2-min read
Bernama TV host who name-called Al Jazeera says she's 'patriotic'
Bernama TV host who name-called Al Jazeera says she's 'patriotic'

The Bernama TV host who name-called Al Jazeera on air over a controversial documentary on undocumented migrants has said she was being “fearless and patriotic”.

“Being fearless and patriotic on a Malaysian TV channel has its own consequences,” part-time anchor Herleena Pahlavy (above) said on Twitter last night.

This comes after Communications and Multimedia Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said action had been taken over the matter.

"We may disagree with the report of a news channel but we cannot call them with such a name.

"I have been informed by the Bernama chairperson that action has been taken," he tweeted yesterday.

The minister, however, did not detail the nature of the action taken.

During the Malaysia Petang Ini programme aired on Bernama TV on Monday, Herleena labelled Al Jazeera as Al Jahiliyah (the ignorant) and told the latter to "shut up".

The host had alleged on the show that the Al Jazeera report was unethical and without basis.

Yesterday, in a later tweet responding to a query on her well-being, Herleena said: “I’m definitely not sad.”

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The incident followed the recent airing of a contentious documentary by Al Jazeera on the alleged mistreatment of undocumented migrants in the country during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In its 101 East 25-minute documentary "Locked Up in Malaysia’s Lockdown", it deemed immigration raids "military-style", alleged that minors were handcuffed and migrants housed under cramped conditions.

The documentary also questioned if the crackdown was the “practical reality of dealing with the pandemic or is it racism?”

The report included interviews with migrants, NGOs, civil society organisations, and trade associations.

It claimed to have sought the responses of Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Home Minister Hamzah Zainuddin and their deputies, prior to airing the report.

However, their requests were allegedly not entertained.

The report had angered the government, which denied the claims of racism and maintained the handling of migrants was done according to the law.

It also resulted in a police probe against the Qatar-based international broadcaster, while the Immigration Department is tracking down a migrant interviewee in the documentary.