KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 6 – Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi wants to meet the reporter whom he claimed had misreported his “arrogant” comment last week. Zahid said if the reporter from the English daily The Sun has the guts, the reporter would go see him and explain the article, which had quoted the minister as saying that non-Malays were arrogant. The Home Minister added that if the article was not retracted, he would “know what to do”. “It is not true that I accused non-Malays of being arrogant. “I have never said that but the reporter from The Sun (wrote it that way). “Understand Malay first before translating it into English or other languages,” he said last night when opening the Bukit Bendera Umno division delegates’ conference in Penang.
The report last week quoted him as saying in his speech at the Segambut Umno division delegates’ conference that non-Malays were arrogant. Zahid has since clarified that he had meant to say that it was the DAP that was arrogant but his comment was taken out of context. He said he would never misuse his power even with the police force under his authority as the Home Minister. He said he had looked for the reporter but he could not find the person. Zahid said he wanted to talk to the reporter about the news report and if it was incorrectly reported, the reporter would be forgiven if an apology was made. “If the article is not retracted, I know what to do,” he said.
Zahid said the report by The Sun was picked up by other news outlets and had gone viral, making him seem to be anti non-Malays. “Islam does not allow its followers to run down other races or religions,” he said. Zahid said there are journalistic ethics to follow and reporters should take care how they write and not damage the image of others. He said the problem now was there were writers without ethics using the online social media and their own portals to “write as they like” without thinking how their writings would affect the country. “They also claim to be liberal but when there are critical comments made against them, they delete the unfavourable comments.
“Don’t use the online medium to damage the country’s image,” he said. The Umno vice-president also warned the people against misusing and taking advantage of Putrajaya’s policy of openness by making slanderous statements. He also condemned actions by certain parties that has created a culture of hate like the “Asal Bukan Umno” (As long as it is not Umno) and “Asal Bukan BN” (As long as it is not Barisan Nasional) movements. He said reform in the country should be based on Malaysian culture and norms, not modelled after reform movements in other nations like Indonesia or the Middle East.