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Article on Teresa Kok unfair and baseless

January 27, 2012

FMT LETTER

From Lwi Kian Keong, via e-mail

I was surprised when I read the article, ‘Wonder woman now ‘YB Press’ which was published in FMT on Jan 25. It is highly unfortunate that FMT had to publish this article based on a ‘source’, whose reliability is a matter of debate.

The writer had failed to counter verify the apparent facts with other DAP Selangor state committee members, ordinary members and supporters in line with good journalistic practice. Instead he goes gung ho based on stories he heard from unreliable sources.

As a DAP Selangor state committee member and a Sepang Municipal councillor, I’m obliged to make some clarifications on certain accusations thrown at YB Teresa Kok, especially since FMT did not approach Teresa for her take on the matter or proffer her the right to respond prior to publishing the above-mentioned article.

Teresa Kok is the MP for Seputeh for over three terms and secured the seat with the highest-recorded majority votes in the 12th General Election. One should know that she has been tirelessly working for her constituents. That is what won her Kinrara state seat in the last general election too.

As a councillor in the Sepang Municipal Council and DAP Selangor state committee member, who always consults her on matters related to the people of Sepang and members of DAP, I’m of the opinion that the accusation thrown against Teresa – that she is more interested in entertaining the media than performing her job – is untrue.

How can that be true when, based on her daily schedule, she runs from one work-related appointment to another? Since Teresa became the DAP Selangor chairman, she has on many occasions travelled to Sepang to meet with local association leaders, to listen to their  concerns,  handling issues related to the party and meeting with grassroot members in Sepang.  All these meetings were conducted without an entourage of media reporters and I can personally vouch for it.

Teresa always kept party elected representatives, party cadres and members informed on events and meetings in the party, as well as events organised by Pakatan Rakyat or Selangor state government. She did this not to make up the numbers (as alleged in the article) but to keep party people informed and involved in party or Pakatan Rakyat’s matters – especially ones that affect them. She does this to fulfill her responsibility as a party chairperson.

Many DAP members and I were surprised to read about the accusations against Teresa that she is not on good terms with Pakatan Rakyat leaders. In fact, as the senior exco of Selangor state government as well as DAP Selangor chief, Teresa inevitably has to work closely with Pakatan leaders in Selangor and at national level. She has been the one who always attended Pakatan meetings in Selangor and plays a leading role in decision making of the Pakatan Rakyat and Selangor state government. This accusation against her is absolutely absurd.

In terms of ignoring calls and sms’es from members on the ground, this is further nonsensical as Teresa is constantly engaging members and the grassroots. Teresa has shown a lot of concern when it comes to DAP Sepang and she has been engaging councillors and active members in Sepang from time to time. She even personally met and mediated on the behalf of members with inter-personal conflicts.

Finally, in terms of media attention that Teresa garners, one would logically derive that wherever there’s a wakil rakyat doing his or her job, that solves the issues of the people, the media are bound to be present to cover the event. It would make sense that the more Teresa is at the grassroots or at Parliament raising people-centred issues, the more media coverage she will obtain. Furthermore, it is only to the benefit of the rakyat that issues Teresa raises, and gets involved in, is highlighted by the media as only then would the matter get the due attention and action needed from the powers that be.

As a DAP member in Sepang, I would like to categorically deny the so-called factions in DAP Sepang as written in the article. I don’t deny there are some teething problems here and there in the party as well as in the constituency just as it is in all the parties be it BN or PR, but generally the party in Sepang under the leadership of ADUN Angkat Jenice Lee as well as the parliamentary liaison committee, we have been active on the ground and this is reflected in series of activities and programmes organised by DAP and Pakatan Rakyat Sepang.

It is my wish that FMT journalists should be careful when handling rumours and hearsay about any political leaders, especially when General Election is around the corner. There is freedom of reporting, but freedom has to be exercised with prudence and responsibility. A journalist should always counter check allegations against any personalities before it is published, so as to safeguard fairness and justice in it’s reporting.


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