: NGO Gerakan Media Marah (Geramm) today expressed its concern over various restrictions and what it also claimed as "near-thuggish 'manhandling'" of reporters at the UMNO Annual General Assembly.
In a statement, it described the actions of party secretariat and UMNO staff as not only contempt of the media, but also lack of respect for the public's right to be informed of the goings on in the party.
“Of greatest concern are the ejection of journalists from news portals Malaysiakini
and The Malaysian Insider
from the PWTC on Saturday.
“Two party workers wearing 'Secretariat' tags approached The Malaysian Insider
reporters in the lobby and ordered them to leave the building under orders from Umno Secretary-General Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor," said Geramm in the statement.
It claimed that Tengku Adnan, at a press conference later, had accused the portals' reporters of stealing party documents, explaining that this was why he ordered them ejected from the premises.
Geramm however said there are better ways to approach the matter if theft was really involved.
"A police report could be lodged or even an official complaint made or legal action can be taken," it said.
In the same statement, Geramm also took to task Puteri Umno chief Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin for banning non-Muslim from covering the launch of the Puteri Umno's DIAN initiative.
Mas Ermieyati had reportedly defended the move as non-Muslim reporters may not understand the initiative launched.