Distorted And False Reporting By James Sarda, Daily Express Editor


KOTA KINABALU: The Daily Express chief editor James Sarda was slammed for ‘distorting” his news report on the Prime Minister’s alleged claim that federal cabinet ministers from Sabah did not raise state issues.

Minister in Prime Minister’s Department Datuk VK Liew slammed the newspaper and Sarda for unprofessional journalism and is demanding that the editor retract and apologise for the distorted news report.

Liew, the Defacto Law Minister, slammed the so called chief editor for totally distorting the Prime Minister’s reply during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.

Earlier in the day, Minister of of International Trade and Industry.Darell Leiking had also condemned the Daily Express, saying:

“Myself and my colleagues from the Borneo Sabah vehemently denies the context of the reporting that had made us look like as if we had never raised Sabah’s issues or any concerns in the Cabinet.

Following Is VK Liew’s Full Statement:

I am deeply disturbed by the unprofessionalism of the news reporting today (Saturday August 17, 2019) by Daily Express which published a distorted and incorrect statement of what Prime Minister YAB Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammed said today in response to a series of questions asked by James Sarda, the Chief Editor of Daily Express.

James Sarda is seen centre with Umno leaders Salleh Said Keruak and Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. – Photo taken from Daily Express

In today’s Daily Express news article, it was falsely reported that :- “ Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he is surprised to learn that Sabah Government leaders have been complaining about not being consulted on recent decisions taken at the Federal level.

Responding to the question from the reporter concerned, that as a Pakatan Harapan-friendly government their views should at least have been sought or considered on major decisions like the departure levy, appointment of the new Universiti Malaysia Sabah Vice Chancellor and introduction of Jawi in primary schools next year, he said:

“As far as I’m concerned, they (Sabahan representatives in the Federal Cabinet) did not say anything.”

However, the Prime Minister didn’t say what James Sarda had distortedly reported.

I’ve listened and watched the relevant video recording of the press conference today.

The Prime Minister had clearly said: “Well, the Sabah Government did not say anything to us, only you (James Sarda) said it.”

Nowhere in the Prime Minister’s response had mentioned my Sabahan colleagues and I had never raised our concerns in the cabinet on major issues such as departure levy, appointment of the new University Malaysia Sabah Vice Chancellor and introduction of Jawi in primary schools next year.

The Sabah Daily Express’s report is clearly unfounded.

As ministers for all Malaysians and together with all my cabinet colleagues, we strive to carry out our duties to the best of our abilities, to rebuild our nation, pushing for institutional reform and addressing nationwide social and economic inequality, and eradicate corruption.

I hereby demand for a retraction, correction, and an apology in respect of the false statements published by Sabah Daily Express.

Lastly, I call upon all Malaysians to reject unethical media reporting which distort the truth to create social tensions and unrest.