Malaysian minister's aide apologises for criticising RTM

Mr Lim Swee Kuan, Transport Minister Anthony Loke's press secretary, criticised state-owned RTM for not airing Mr Loke's Chinese New Year speech.
Mr Lim Swee Kuan, Transport Minister Anthony Loke's press secretary, criticised state-owned RTM for not airing Mr Loke's Chinese New Year speech.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/ LIM SWEE KUAN

KUALA LUMPUR • The Malaysian Transport Minister's press secretary has apologised for saying "heads must roll" after national broadcaster RTM failed to air the minister's Chinese New Year speech.

Mr Lim Swee Kuan also said sorry for accusing RTM of trying to "sabotage" the Pakatan Harapan government by not broadcasting speeches made by Mr Anthony Loke and Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar Aminuddin Harun at a Chinese New Year event, Malaysian media reported.

"What is this if this is not sabotage?" Mr Lim said in an allegation he posted on his Facebook page on Feb 17. "Heads must roll over the highly possible sabotage against the government administration."

Mr Lim's sharp criticism led the public to question the extent of media freedom and Transport Minister Loke has distanced himself from the secretary's remarks.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo also lambasted Mr Lim, pointing out last week that state-owned RTM is required to air only the Prime Minister's speeches, Malaysian media reported.

A contrite Mr Lim said in a statement on his Facebook page yesterday: "Knowing now that RTM was merely following its SOP (standard operating procedure) in showing only the prime minister's speech during the live telecast of the CNY celebration in Seremban, I wish to apologise for my Facebook post dated February 17, 2019.

"I support media independence and media freedom and would love that one day RTM can be truly transformed into high quality, professional public broadcaster."

CONTRITE

Knowing now that RTM was merely following its SOP (standard operating procedure) in showing only the prime minister's speech during the 'live' telecast of the CNY celebration in Seremban, I wish to apologise for my Facebook post dated February 17, 2019.

MR LIM SWEE KUAN, the Malaysian Transport Minister's press secretary, in a statement posted on his Facebook page.

Mr Lim also said he fully supports Mr Gobind's proposal for a media council, saying it is "the right way to go to redefine the important role of state-owned media".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 25, 2019, with the headline 'Malaysian minister's aide apologises for criticising RTM'. Print Edition | Subscribe