KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 — Fresh from a police probe over a televised interview, Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman today took to Facebook to reminisce about an era when the previous government had tried to control the media to avoid public scrutiny, and still failed to steer perception.
In his posting, Syed Saddiq lamented how Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh, Director of Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4), Cynthia Gabriel, as well as local journalist Tashny Sukumaran were all summoned by the police for asking question, publishing a statement as well as reporting an incident, in the course of their duties.
“You can pay and control the media, but you will not be able to cover the public’s unease towards high-profile cases, which you so easily dropped to remain in power.
“1MDB (1Malaysia Development Berhad) is the elephant in the room. (Tan Sri) Musa Aman’s cases, as well as cases which are soon to be dropped later, are also the elephant in the room.
“We are thankful to the bravery of one news portal called KiniBiz, which in 2013, was said to be the first portal which revealed the world biggest corruption case that is 1MDB. It is after KiniBiz, that Sarawak Report, with its very comprehensive reports by Clare (Rewcastle Brown), began shocking many parties, especially international media,” he added.
Syed Saddiq then reminded how three news portals were ultimately blocked by the then Barisan Nasional (BN) government; the now defunct The Malaysian Insider (TMI), Asia Sentinel and Medium, which were publishing reports seen as critical towards the then establishment.
“At that time, the government truly controlled the local media, especially mainstream media which has close ties to the authorities.
“However, the people got smarter. The influx of reports online had opened the eye of many. The people are not easily fooled by a controlled and paid narrative.
“The people can see, the people can evaluate,” the Muar MP added
Syed Saddiq yesterday tweeted saying that he was summoned by the police to appear in Bukit Aman for questioning over an interview broadcasted on Al Jazeera back in March.
The former youth and sports minister said he was to provide his statement over an interview he conducted with Al Jazeera’s UpFront programme host Mehdi Hasan that was broadcasted on March 6.
“I am also informed that the investigation is to be conducted under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act.
“I am prepared to give my full cooperation with the police. Berani kerana benar (brave because right),” he said in the Twitter post.
In the Al Jazeera interview, Syed Saddiq chastised Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for co-opting “kleptocrats” into his government despite once vowing to challenge them.
He was asked to comment on Muhyiddin’s changing of allegiances and ascent to power.
Syed Saddiq is the second known Pakatan Harapan (PH) MP to be called up by Bukit Aman this week over social media postings after Yeoh was also similarly ordered to appear for questioning over a social media post related to child marriage.