Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Airtime for manifesto on RTM a one-off offer — Rais

Posted by Smookiekins On 4/10/2013 09:40:00 AM

KUALA LUMPUR : The 10 minutes airtime to be given to political parties to present their respective manifestos on Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) is a one-off offer, said Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim.

He said no more airtime would be given to them during the campaigning period for the 13th General Election.

He explained that based on discussions between the ministry and the Broadcasting Department, the time given (10 minutes) was enough, and in fact was longer than the five minutes given for this previously.

He said 10 minutes was enough to present five pages of text of single spacing.

“So in 10 minutes, the parties can forward their policies, contents of their manifestos and pledges,” he told reporters after making a walkabout together with street performers and members of Karyawan around Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Masjid India here yesterday.

As such, Rais said he hoped the opposition parties which had turned down the offer, would change their minds as the opportunity was being given fairly to all parties.

“There is no reason for them not to take part unless if they want to make fun of RTM or the Broadcasting Department,” he said.

Nevertheless, he said RTM would give them news coverage on all its three television and 32 radio stations, even if they did not take up the airtime offer (to present their manifestos), but on condition the stations were invited.


He also clarified that although the Dewan Rakyat had been dissolved, government departments and agencies could still function as normal as this was provided for by Articles 38 and 43 of the Federal Constitution, which cover the institution of the Malay rulers and functions of ministers.

“Now we are in a situation of a caretaker government, the government is still in existence…all ministries and government departments continue to function as normal,” he said.

However, he said after Nomination Day, all government departments and agencies cannot take part in any programmes that involved political parties.

On another matter, Rais said he supported Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s statement yesterday calling on the National Fatwa Council to review all statements made by PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat relating to Islam.

Source : Borneo Post

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