Malaysia’s new prime minister, Najib Razak, expressed hope that the media could cooperate with his office, despite the role of the former as a critic of government policy.
â€œI hope the media can provide constructive criticism. If leaders don’t want to be criticized, it seems they are immune and this is not good. Such a situation could lead to abuse of power,” he told Indonesian reporters at a special interview at his office in Putrajaya, outside Kuala Lumpur, on Tuesday.
Razak, who was sworn in as Malaysia’s sixth prime minister, replacing Abdullah Badawi, reiterated his call that the media should not launch personal attacks and not base their reports on rumors.
Late Monday, Razak had already called on the Malaysian press, especially the so-called new media, to play an important role in the political and civic future.
“I expect the media to be transparent and allow the people to hold public officials accountable. The media should also be open to all people and in the service for the people. And it is also built on respect and fairness, not personal attacks,” he said during the Malaysian
Razak emphasized his lifting of a ban on two media outlets, which were considered the opposition at federal level. He also released 13 Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees last Saturday, despite allegations the move was made only to win votes ahead of three by-elections Tuesday.
“We need world-class, fact-based reporting in Malaysia. The media must be fair and responsible in reporting. I believe we can move beyond those offering journalism of conspiracy theories and rumors.
“The power of the media, particularly the print and broadcast media, is not only in reporting the news, but also in lending credibility to stories and rumors that percolate up from the grassroots and the Internet,â€ he said.
Source : The Jakarta Post