MALAYSIA: Why Parliament sessions can't go live on TV

A minister has provocatively suggested that it was the thought of 'opposition antics' flashing across television screens that kept the government from allowing live telecasts of parliamentary proceedings

The Straits Times
Thursday, May 6, 2004

KUALA LUMPUR - A minister has provocatively suggested that it was the thought of 'opposition antics' flashing across television screens that kept the government from allowing live telecasts of parliamentary proceedings.

The Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge of Parliament, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, said the government would not have qualms about live telecasts if the opposition 'behaved itself'.

But he said the government did not want the public to see how the opposition shouted or behaved in an unruly manner in Parliament.

'They will start showing their antics. It is not possible to show all that live over television,' he said. 'If they behaved like MPs from First World countries, we would not have any qualms about live telecasts. Our opposition MPs have a Third World attitude.'

His comments came after Democratic Action Party chairman Lim Kit Siang had rejected the explanation, given by Malaysia's Information Minister, that prohibitive costs were the reason there were no live telecasts.

Datuk Paduka Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir had stated it would cost the government RM100,000 (S$45,000) to do so.