Umno rolls back decision on media restrictions at general assembly: Report

Umno will not restrict the media from listening to the debates at its  meeting next month.
Umno will not restrict the media from listening to the debates at its meeting next month.PHOTO: THE STAR

KUALA LUMPUR - Umno will not restrict the media from listening to the free-flowing debates at its annual meeting next month, the Malay-language daily Utusan on Thursday (Nov 26) cited the party's secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor as saying.

The announcement on Thursday (Nov 26) came a day after Tengku Adnan said media coverage at next month's United Malays National Organisation (Umno) General Assembly meeting will be severely limited due to "some media spinning rubbish".

Tengku Adnan had told The Star that the media would only be able to listen in to official speeches by the leaders and attend the daily news conferences at the end of the meetings.

The proposal for media restrictions also followed the party's decision to bar its rebellious deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin from addressing delegates at the joint opening of its three wings, in an unusual move to gag a top Umno leader.

But the Utusan newspaper on Thursday (Nov 26) cited Tengku Adnan as saying that the party had decided to roll back on its decision on the media restrictions after feedback from state representatives who said they wanted live coverage of the meeting.

"This means that the media will be able to report openly. Media coverage remains the same as previous general assemblies," he was quoted saying.

The 3.4 million-strong Umno, Malaysia's biggest political party, holds its annual general assembly for five days from Dec 8. The meeting is the country's most-watched annual political event, with hundreds of media personnel thronging the party's headquarters to report on the speeches and debates.