KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 12 — An Umno lawmaker criticised today the Selangor state government for instructing state departments and agencies to cancel subscriptions for mainstream daily Berita Harian and newspapers under the Utusan Malaysia group.
Kuala Selangor MP Datuk Seri Irmohizam Ibrahim questioned if this would lead to layoffs in the media outlets as a result of falling revenue.
“News reports in the mainstream media are for everyone and are not just mere propaganda like newspapers published by the Opposition,” Irmohizam said in a statement.
“Even worse, this shows the real attitude of the state government that gives consideration to beer festivals, but refuses to give departments, agencies and subsidiaries access to good information,” he added.
News portal Malaysiakini reported Friday that the PKR-led Selangor administration’s instruction to cancel subscriptions and to stop advertising in Utusan Group publications was first issued in June 2008, a few months after the now-defunct Pakatan Rakyat won the state in the general elections.
The Selangor state government reportedly issued a fresh circular on November 9 as some departments, agencies and subsidiaries had continued subscriptions for Berita Harian and Utusan Group titles.
All state departments, agencies and subsidiaries were instructed instead to subscribe only to state-owned newsletter Selangor Kini, Malay daily Sinar Harian and English daily The Star.