Communications Minister condemns racist attack against journalist

R. Loheswar
Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah speaks to reporters during a press conference at the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia in Putrajaya March 12, 2020. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Mar 16 — Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah today condemned social media users who had threatened and hurled racist remarks at a journalist from Malaysiakini.

Taking to Twitter, Saifuddin said such actions have no place in society, echoing the sentiments of Environment Minister Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, who also condemned the racist attacks against the journalist in a statement yesterday.

“I abhor these racial attacks targeted at a reporter from @mlalaysiakini on social media,” Saifuddin tweeted.

“Any threats or attacks aimed at a reporter who is doing their duty is totally unacceptable.”

Journalist Kow Gah Chie received abuse for a story she wrote mentioning Tuan Ibrahim defending logging activities in Kelantan.

Gah Chie had met Tuan Ibrahim, who is the new Environment Minister, during an event with Tuan Ibrahim at his new ministry where she was asking a lot of questions but apparently none of them were related to logging in Kelantan.

Videos were circulating online of the said press conference with Tuan Ibrahim and Gah Chie but there was no mention of logging.

These logging activities were said to be encroaching into the habitat of the Orang Asli as well as wildlife in Kelantan and have been a contentious issue for several years.

Hence Gah Chie came under fire, with some calling her ugly while others called her a pig, as her article “New environment minister defends logging in Kelantan” drew the ire of the public and supporters of Tuan Ibrahim as it made him look bad.

Some even threatened physical attacks on her.

Tuan Ibrahim in a statement yesterday said he disapproved of any attacks on reporters adding that misconstrued information happens all the time and it should be dealt with and corrected in a professional manner.

Malaysiakini had said that Gah Chie spoke to Tuan Ibrahim during a doorstop at the same event. 

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