By P PREM KUMAR & DASHVEENJIT KAUR / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof hopes that media practitioners covering the ongoing sitting can safeguard and uplift the image of the country’s Parliament.
He said the media plays an important role in ensuring the image of Parliament is respected by foreign countries by always maintaining order while on duty in the premises of the country’s highest legislative body.
“There is no country in which its journalists can sit at will in their Parliament lobby. So, I urge media practitioners to cooperate in addressing the problem and ensure the atmosphere in the Parliament lobby is always conducive and under control,” he said.
At a special meeting with editors from the print and electronic media at the Parliament building yesterday, Mohamad Ariff said since the sitting convened last week, Parliament had withdrawn several rules on media practitioners, including the ban from being in the Parliament lobby as well as quota for media presence to the Parliament.
He said the Parliament had also implemented several temporary changes, including providing a special media conference room in the Parliament lobby for the convenience of media practitioners to interview and field questions to the Members of Parliament.
“Although I and my deputies are optimistic in maintaining and allowing the media in the Parliament lobby, without the cooperation from the media, I am afraid the facility will be withdrawn if the media (people) continue not to comply to rules and regulations set,” he said.
At the event, Mohamad Ariff, who was appointed as the Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat on Monday, also expressed his appreciation to the media practitioners for their support and said the existing close ties could be enhanced.
The former Court of Appeal judge was the sole nominee put forth by the Pakatan Harapan government for the speaker post, despite protests from the Opposition bench.