News  |  Malaysia

Salleh: Stick to the facts when reporting or call it fiction

Salleh: Stick to the facts when reporting or call it fiction
He said journalists and producers should not distort the facts and mislead their audiences with falsehoods and unsubstantiated claims.
KOTA KINABALU: Stick to the facts when you are reporting or present it as fiction, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak.

Reminding journalists and producers of documentaries of their responsibilities, he said they should not distort the facts and mislead their audiences with falsehoods and unsubstantiated claims.

"Malaysia has very little tolerance for false reporting, and we will not hesitate to take action against any party found to have breached the law.
"We want the highest journalistic standards to be adhered to," he told Bernama after joining a cycling event (Kayuhan Hari Malaysia) in conjunction with the Malaysia Day celebration here today.

The cycling event was flagged off by Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman. Malaysia Day will be celebrated at the Padang Merdeka here on Sept 16.

Yesterday, Salleh was quoted as saying that everything featured in a documentary on Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu that was rehashed from an old story and presented as current development had been based on hearsay and not based on any tangible evidence.

A report in Al Jazeera's '101 East' current affairs programme on Thursday alleged that Altantuya had ties with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and that the two men convicted of murdering her were linked to Najib.

The Prime Minister's Office on Friday reiterated that Najib “did not know, has never met, has never had any communication with and has no link whatsoever with Altantuya".

"I said it yesterday, and I will say it again that this is a classic case of facts being weaved with fiction, with more fiction than facts, and stories that had been floating around and which were never substantiated being the basis of the Al Jazeera report," Salleh said.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said yesterday that journalists should remember that there was no absolute freedom of media anywhere in the world, even in Western countries.