Penang Forum’s comments were either not reported or misreported by the mainstream media(e/c)

Press Statement By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng In Komtar, George Town On 26.1.2016

BN-controlled mainstream media continues to paint a false, negative and distorted picture of the Penang state government’s efforts to protect our hills with sustainable development. It is sad that the comments made by NGOs which are deemed favourable to the state government are not even reported or deliberately slanted against the state government.

Such demonisation of the Penang state government and the Chief Minister by the mainstream media has intensified despite explanations and public dialogues held between the Penang Chief Minister and NGOs. Lately the Chief Minister received an explanation from an NGO, the Penang Forum, rebutting a report from The Star following a fruitful dialogue with the Chief Minister on what they had actually said to the press. Unfortunately Penang Forum’s comments were either not reported or misreported by the mainstream media. Email by Penang Forum as follows:-

Dear Chief Minister,
1. On 14 January 2016, the STAR reported that you were “disappointed that, despite sharing all the information available to us, they still raise the same issue..” This was in reference to the Dialogue you had with the Penang Forum on 11 January 2016.

You further implied, in the same report, that the Penang Forum “do not understand and are confused..”
We understand that you made these remarks on your assumption that the Penang Forum had issued a new Statement after the Dialogue and repeated the same points. Since your views are now in the public domain, we wish to state categorically that no new Statement was issued by the Penang Forum after the Dialogue. What the Press reported were all based on our original Statement and Dato Agatha Foo’s paper on Special Projects which were handed to you and to all those attending the Dialogue.

The Press were present throughout the Dialogue and must have followed your clarifications and the exchanges that took place. If they chose not to report in a comprehensive, balanced manner, surely that is not the doing of the Penang Forum.

2. After the Dialogue, I was asked by reporters what I had thought of the meeting. My answer incorporated the following points:
i. That the Dialogue was excellent, constructive and positive.
ii. That the CM was willing to spend so much time with a CSO on an issue of concern spoke well of the CM and the State Government.
iii. That the CM was willing to involve two of our members to interact and work together with the State Authorities augurs well for the development of Penang.
iv. That the Penang Forum was sincerely grateful to the CM for his willingness to listen to the people and that we looked forward to more such dialogues in the future.

None of the above was reported by the Press.

We trust that this clarification clears the air. May we reiterate our thanks to you again and we hope that we will be able to work together in the interest of Penang.

Dato Dr. Sharom Ahmat
On behalf of the Penang Forum
January 20 2016

—–Mandarin Version —

槟州首席部长林冠英于2016年1月26日在光大发表声明:

国阵控制的媒体继续以虚假、负面、扭曲的报道,抹黑槟城州政府保护山林的努力。我感到遗憾的是,非政府组织对州政府的有利意见没有被报道,反而是刻意报道了对州政府不利的看法。

主流媒体如此妖魔化槟州政府及首长的做法越来越频密,尽管槟州首长及非政府组织已经进步许多说明与对话。最近,首长也接获了一封来自非政府组织槟城论坛的电邮,说明他们其实对媒体说了什么,反驳英文《星报》一则与首长对话会有关的报道,有关对话会其实是有成果的。不幸地是,槟城论坛的建议并没有获得报道、而且还被主流媒体扭曲。槟城论坛的电邮如下:

首长,
1 2016年1月14日,《星报》报道指你“感到失望,尽管已经公布了所有的资料,他们还是一再提出相同的课题。”这是你针对2016年1月11日与槟城论坛的对话会,在有关报道中,你也暗示槟城论坛“不明白、混淆。”
我们明白你的言论是基于你以为槟城论坛在对话会之后发表了新的文告,重复同样的论点。由于你的回应已经公开了,我们在此要特别声明在对话会之后,槟城论坛并没有发表新的文告。报章报道的完全是依据我们原先的文告以及拿督Agatha Foo针对“特别项目”的报告,我们已经在对话会上呈交给你以及所有参与者。
当时媒体也出席了对话会,他们也一定跟进了你的澄清及意见交流。如果他们选择不全面地、持平地报道,那么这绝不是槟城论坛的做法。
2. 对话会过后,记者问我对于上述对话会的看法,我当时的回答可以总结成下列几个要点:
i. 有关对话会是良好、有建设性及正面的。
ii. 首长愿意拨出那么多时间与公民社会洽谈我们关心的议题,这是首长及州政府值得嘉许之处。
iii. 首长愿意让我们两位成员与州政府的部门一起交流及工作,对槟城的发展是一件好事。
iii. 槟城论坛感激首长愿意聆听,我们希望以后还有更多如此的对话会。
媒体完全没有报道我的言论。
我们相信这项澄清让事情更明白。我们要再次感谢你,并希望能够为槟城的利益再度一起合作。

拿督沙仑阿末代表槟城论坛
写于2016年1月20日

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