Finance minister: Media should not be stooge to private sector

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng speaks to reporters at the Parliament lobby April 2, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng speaks to reporters at the Parliament lobby April 2, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

BATU KAWAN, June 15 — Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng has advised the media against being a stooge to the interest of private sector companies by publishing fake and baseless news.

He said that the media must be professional and responsible towards the reports that they issued.

‘‘The media should not publish ridiculous and baseless news because you will only become a tool in the interest of the private sector.

‘‘They (private sector) want to promote their projects and to sell the newspaper you publish the fake news...it is not a responsible action,’’ he told a media conference after launching Hotayi Electronic (M) Sdn Bhd, here today.

He said this when commenting on a report in an English newspaper on June 10 that two companies were planning to build new airports, namely, the North Malaysia International Airport (NMIA) and the Northern Region International Airport (NORIA) at two separate locations in southern Seberang Prai on the Penang main land.

The report said that the two new proposed airports would replace the Penang International Airport (PIA) in Bayan Lepas other than rendering the proposal to build the Kulim International Airport through a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) no longer necessary.

Lim, who is also Bagan Member of Parliament, said the report was fake and the federal government and the Penang and Kedah state governments were unaware of the proposal to build the two new airports.

He said the government was now prioritising the expansion and upgrading of the Penang International Airport in Bayan Lepas which would enable it to handle 16 million passengers.

Asked if the government would consider it if a private sector company submitted a proposal paper, he said the government would not entertain any fake news.

“This is fake news, why should we be entertaining fake news. The government has no knowledge about this...media please be responsible,” he added. — Bernama