KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 (Bernama) — Dialogues that demonstrate respect for one another even when disagreements are deep must take place in all parts of the country, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.
“It (dialogue) may be held in homes, restaurants, in kampung and cities, in workplaces and gatherings of friends, in the traditional media as well as in the rapidly growing online media.
Najib said for too long, the politics of accusation and rumour had trampled political dialogue that was founded on respect and fairness.
“We each have our own political philosophy and views on policies that we feel will best serve the nation. That debate must continue. Indeed, it must be a vigorous and informed debate,” he said at the Malaysian Press Institute-Petronas Media Awards Night 2009, here.
Najib said at a time when too much of the political discourse had descended into rumours and name-calling, people were turning off the traditional media and looking to interact directly with each other and their leaders adding that they wanted dialogue as a nation, not just monologues from a handful of political leaders.
Najib also said that he believed the new media played an important role in the country’s political and civic future.
“But I want and will encourage a debate that takes place across all media across parts of our country. I want a dialogue that builds on themes we have discussed today and that are central to the success of the new media.
“One that is transparent and allows people to hold public officials accountable. One that is open to all people and in the service of all our people, and one that is built on respect on fairness, not personal attack.
Najib said there was a vital place in that dialogue for a vibrant, free and informed media.
“If we are truly to build a democracy that is responsive to the needs of all people, we need a media, both old and new that is empowered to responsibility report what they see, without fear of consequences, and to hold governments and public officials accountable for the results they achieve or do not achieve.
“That was why as one of my first official acts, I lifted the ban on two media outlets which are extensions of the opposition at the federal level,” he added.
Source : Bernama