EC should allow live unedited media access, says PAS
KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 — PAS today urged the Election Commission (EC) to allow the opposition to have live broadcasts, saying that the latest move to allow the airing of recorded statements was not enough to ensure a fair election campaign.
The EC chairman yesterday said that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) can only provide recorded statements to broadcast station Radio and Television Malaysia (RTM) to spread their election manifesto, according to the Sin Chew Daily today.
Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof reportedly said this decision was made to prevent live broadcasts from threatening national security and public order, touching on personal issues, racial and religious sensitivities.
“Recorded statements can be edited,” said PAS’ secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali in a press conference at the party’s headquarters.
He said there was a risk that the recordings would then become “not original and not depicting what the intended message is.”
Mustafa said the move to allow “only manifesto and recorded statements” is “far from Bersih and the opposition’s demands.”
The electoral reform movement, Bersih, had eight demands — including free and fair media access, where state funded media agencies were called “to allocate proportionate and objective coverage for all political parties.”
“Give us freedom to state not just our manifesto but also other objectives of our struggle,” said Mustafa.
The PAS leader also said : “Give trust to opposition leaders, if what they say is not good, let the people judge.”
He lamented the country’s limited freedom of speech, saying that even the EC’s latest announcement was “only because of pressure”.