Monday, October 1, 2007

Kelantan is unhappy over reports on Sultan's speech

Kota Baru: Wide coverage by the national media on the address by the Sultan of Kelantan which reprimanded the state government for its failure to attract investors was made an issue at the State Assembly.

Several state leaders, dissatisfied with the media reports, said the royal address in opening the budget meeting on Sunday was deliberately distorted by the media to put the PAS-led government in a bad light.

Speaker Datuk Wan Abdul Rahim Wan Abdullah issued a warning to media representatives covering the assembly "to be more careful in the future".

He said media representatives were given special permission to cover assembly sittings as long as they adhered to the conditions set.

The media had reported that apart from the reprimand, the Sultan also urged the state government to be more proactive in stimulating the state's economy by giving emphasis to the services, agriculture and manufacturing sectors and to strengthen its relationship with the federal government.

The issue was initially raised by State Public Administration, Local Government and Housing Committee Chairman Takiyuddin Hassan who said the mass media had distorted the royal address.

"The reports made it look like the Sultan was dissatisfied with the state government and commended the federal government instead," he said when winding-up the motion of thanks for the royal address.

He said the address should have been read in totality rather than highlighting passages only to smear the state government.

However, he admitted that the Sultan had chided the state government but only to get it to do better in the future.

Takiyuddin said if the speech was "read between the lines", the Sultan was actually dissatisfied with the federal government's effort to help Kelantan.

"The Sultan regrets the Federal Government's treatment of Kelantan in certain aspects. The federalism concept is not adhered to in Kelantan as similar aid given to other states is not extended to Kelantan," he said.

State Planning, Finance and Community Development Committee Chairman Husam Musa, in his winding-up speech, said the royal address was positive but was intentionally turned "negative and one-sided".

"Our mainstream media bring a slogan of unity but the way they publish news is full of attacks and disunity.

"Isn't it sweeter to take other perspectives and not sensationalise news for the front page," he said.

Husam said the time for fighting between the State Government and the Kelantan palace had actually passed, and the relationship between Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat and the palace was very good.--Bernama (Daily Express 8/12/2004)


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