Chief Minister Ready To Face Criticism That Is Objective And With Basis

SJA committee members with the Chief Minister after briefing him on their activities for the year.

KOTA KINABALU: Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal wants the media to be independent and objective in carrying out their news reporting.

The Chief Minister said it was important for the media to focus on issues objectively as they could connect with the people and their needs.

“I for one am ready to accept criticism. It should be objective and with basis,” he said during a courtesy call by Sabah Journalists Association.

He said with advent of social media, the media today has to build a trust with the people who have become sceptical and critical as they had large base of information in the social media.

“There is competition now as compared to the past.

Shafie with Muguntan Vanar discussing SJA activities for 2018 which includes the annual Kinabalu Press Award.

“There should be a paradigm shift from the old system of how you operate. The people’s thinking is very different. I like to see the media become more objective in doing their duties,” Shafie said.

“Why people have to resort to social media is because there is a general lack of trust (of mainstream media),” he added.

Mainstream media, had under the previous government, usually given one-sided coverage, while spinning all kinds of stories about the then opposition and its leaders.

On the widely discussed issue of a media council, Shafie also said that there was no need for one to act as a watchdog as it was important for the media to be independent.

“Let the media be independent. A council has tendency to be abused. I believe the media has to be allowed to speak their mind.

“If there is a council, you’ll be controlled. For Sabah to move forward, the mind-set has to change,” he said in urging the local media to play its important role in Sabah’s development.

(The council is being proposed to act as on complaints against media practitioners from print, online and broadcast etc. Under the proposal, the council would compromise media representative from journalists, editors and owners as well as from the government)

The Chief Minister was also briefed on the activities of SJA that has some 200 members from the private and government media.

SJA president Muguntan Vanar and his committee also briefed the Chief Minister on the media’s prestigious annual Kinabalu Shell Press Awards as well the plans by the association to put up a building in the plot of land in Kota Kinabalu.

Shafie said that his administration appreciate the role of the media and will assist the association in its various endeavours.