GEORGE TOWN: Better to close newspapers that sow hatred and spread lies than demand the closure of a daily which has already apologised for a controversial cartoon, DAP’s Lim Guan Eng said today.
He said going by the same logic used by those calling for action to be taken against Nanyang Siang Pau, other dailies that spread hate and lies ought to cease print.
“Nanyang Siang Pau has apologised. If you want to close them for making that mistake, then you should also close down other papers that made other mistakes, spread lies and also create hate towards other Malaysians.
“Papers like Utusan Malaysia. They create hate between Malays and non-Muslims, and we are very unhappy with them.
“I have sued Utusan so many times, I have won so many cases in court. They have even apologised to me on page 2 of the newspaper before.
“I do not ask Utusan to be closed, but they must admit their mistakes and try to publish the truth,” Lim said at a press conference in Komtar today.
Nanyang Siang Pau has come under fire for an editorial cartoon titled “Monkey Show Act”, which poked fun at PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia.
The two MPs were depicted as monkeys on a tree named “Act 355”.
Lim said newspapers which are investigated ought to be given a chance to explain themselves before the authorities decide to “close them down”.
“Freedom of the press also gives the chance for newspapers to admit they are wrong, and to pay for their errors.
“But the punishment should not be closing down the newspaper. As far as the newspaper is concerned, let the readers decide. We can go to court, win cases and get compensation.”
He also suggested that newspapers should be allowed to go through the regular court process to determine if there is any damage done.
“If they have committed any criminal offence, they can face the charges in court,” Lim said.