Gerakan supports government’s plan to reintroduce Tamil and Mandarin news in Bernama News Channel Asharuddin: It shows appreciation to minor communities and promotes social awareness and inclusion

Press statement by

Gerakan Vice President cum

Chairman, National Unity Bureau

Datuk Dr Asharuddin Ahmad

February 3, 2017

Gerakan Vice President cum Chairman of National Unity Bureau Datuk Dr Asharuddin Ahmad has voiced his support when it was reported that the Communications and Multimedia Ministry intends to reintroduce the Tamil and Mandarin news broadcast in Bernama News Channel (BNC).

Asharuddin said that such a move is laudable as it will cater to the needs of various communities in the country. He said news broadcasting in Tamil and Mandarin shows appreciation of social diversity and the government’s initiative to reach out to minor communities.

News broadcasting in Tamil and Mandarin would certainly keep members of the minor communities updated with latest developments in the country. It helps to ensure authenticity and consistency in the news and also the cultivation of social awareness and national unity,” said Asharuddin.

Asharuddin hoped the reintroduction of Tamil and Mandarin news broadcasting would improve press and broadcasting freedom in the country. He said it was a much welcome move by the government after amendments to the Printing Presses and Publication Act in 2012 that revoked the requirement for license renewal and enabled the publishers to challenge in court any decision by the Home Minister to revoke or suspend permits in court.

Asharuddin hoped the government’s commitment to broadening civil liberties would be continued following the reintroduction of Tamil and Mandarin news broadcasting. He said Gerakan supports commitment to further political transformation led by Prime Minister’s Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak.

Asharuddin also said the reintroduction of Tamil and Mandarin news broadcasting in BNC must be accompanied by stringent efforts to ensure the authenticity and consistency of the news. He said the credibility of Bernama as the government’s official news agency must be guarded at all times. He stressed that it is important to ensure that official statements, events and policies by the government are reached out to the public as it would promote social awareness and inclusion as well as reduce misinformation or propaganda that is directed against the government by irresponsible parties.

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