DAP reps want NST to apologise over Penang port issue
KUALA LUMPUR, June 27 — DAP leaders today demanded the New Straits Times apologise for suggesting that they had misquoted Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s statement on Penang’s free port status, furnishing proof today to show the prime minister had shot down the proposal.
At a press conference here, Bukit Bendera MP Liew Chin Tong distributed copies of Najib’s parliamentary reply on June 13 where the latter said that the “free port concept no longer exists”.
The prime minister had also stated that the issue of granting free port status to Penang “no longer arises”.
“This was the PM’s reply to me on June 13, so we would like NST to apologise for their news report because it borders on lying,” Liew said.
The English daily, quoting Chinese current affairs website www.souminews.com, had reported that DAP leaders “may have twisted” Najib’s statement on the issue.
According to the NST, the Chinese-language website had said that DAP leaders had omitted part of Najib’s actual parliamentary reply, thus giving the false impression that the prime minister was contradicting his own men in Penang Barisan Nasional (BN).
Penang BN chief Teng Chang Yeow had first pledged to restore the northern state’s free port status, but only if BN is voted back to power.
His remarks were immediately criticised by Penang Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders, who pointed out later that even Najib had shot down the proposal.
Liew slammed the NST, which he said was supposed to be reputable, for quoting from another website without first approaching him.
He added that DAP leaders would be consulting their lawyers on whether to take legal action against the NST.