KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Transport Minister Anthony Loke on Tuesday (Feb 19) defended his aide, who stirred controversy by accusing national broadcaster RTM of sabotaging the federal government.
Mr Lim Swee Kuan, his press secretary, had hit out at RTM for failing to air a speech by Mr Loke during a recent Chinese New Year open house event.
According to a report by the Malay Mail, Mr Loke said his aide’s comments merely reflected his personal feelings and were not an infringement of media freedom.
“It's not a question of infringing media freedom. It's a question of it's a live event and why certain portion of the live event was taken out. I think that's the real issue here,” the minister told reporters.
“Number one - it is a government TV station and it was supposed to be a live event but why certain portion taken out? I think that's the crux of the issue here,” Mr Loke said, adding that he does not want to pursue the matter.
In a Facebook post on Sunday, the press secretary wrote: "Is RTM sabotaging the Federal Government?"
"Not a single word of the speeches of Menteri Besar Negeri Sembilan YAB Dato' Seri Hj Aminuddin Harun and Transport Minister YB Anthony Loke Siew Fook were broadcasted!"
He demanded an explanation from RTM. "Heads must roll over the highly possible sabotage" against the government," he added.
Mr Lim also lodged an official complaint with the Minister of Communications and Multimedia Gobind Singh Deo.
Mr Gobind said later that he has asked RTM for a report of the incident. “Once I see it, I will do the necessary," he said.
Former prime minister Najib Razak commented on Facebook that this was an infringement of media freedom.
On Tuesday, Mr Loke said that he will leave it to Mr Gobind to investigate the incident. He also denied asking Mr Lim to pen the Facebook post.
“Of course, he said it based on his own feelings, but I've never given him (Mr Lim) any instructions,” Mr Loke was quoted as saying by the Malay Mail.