- Published on Friday, 21 April 2017 23:00
KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak has reminded the media of its "instrumental" duty in distinguishing wild allegations from facts.
He said while he was willing to accept flaws and weaknesses in the government, he will not accept wild allegations which are unfounded.
"I do not expect the media to agree with the government on everything.
"But please disagree on facts and not wild baseless allegations," he said in his speech during the 2017 Malaysian Press Night and 2016 MPI-Petronas Malaysian Journalism Awards presentation at the Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Friday night.
Also present was the Prime Minister's wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak and Malaysian Press Institute (MPI) chief executive officer Datuk Chamil Wariya.
Citing instances when news regarding the alleged presence of 40,000 Bangladeshi phantom voters during the 13th General Election had hit social media, Najib said it would be an impossible task given the logistics.
"It would take 1,000 jumbo jets each carrying 400 passengers to make that happen, which is impossible to go undetected," he said.
He also pointed the deal between Saudi Arabia's state oil company Saudi Aramco to invest US$7 billion (RM30.8 billion) into an oil refinery and petrochemical project in Johor which almost did not get through due to the initial perception that the country was on the verge of bankruptcy.
"The government’s opponents often prefer not to engage with us on facts.
"They create false propaganda, some of which sadly gains traction internationally," he said.
Noting the current crisis affecting the print media due to emergence of online media, Najib said there will always be a way for the print media to emerge stronger with better strategies.