17th August 2019
UTUSAN OWES GEN ARSHAD AND PATRIOT AN APOLOGY
We in Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan (Patriot) are disgusted with the Utusan Online’s article, ‘Patriot membisu kerana sudah termakan budi?’, published on 15 August, written by Sayed Hesham Idris. The writer was quoting Perak UMNO Information Chief, Mohd Zolkafly Harun who accused Patriot of remaining silent in the light of Mr Koon Yew Yin’s remarks on armed forces personnel. Both Mohd Zolkafly Harun and the Utusan Online article through its headline had insinuated that Patriot was dishonest, received favours, and even corrupted.
The fact remains that neither the Perak UMNO Information Chief, the author of the article or editor of Utusan checked with us if Patriot was issuing any statement pertaining to Koon Yew Yin’s remarks. When the news on armed forces personnel were “doing nothing except eating and sleeping” first came out in the social media, we were very perturbed and immediately asked officials in Mindef to investigate. Deputy Defence Minister Liew Chin Tong issued a statement in the evening of August 14, thus confirming what Koon Yew Yin had written in his blog.
On August 15 at 9.00 AM Patriot released a statement criticising Koon for his ignorance on the roles of the armed forces. Our statement was carried in Free Malaysia Today, The Malaysian Insight, Malaysiakini, and other news media in the late morning and early afternoon, much earlier than the Utusan Online article that came out at 4.14 pm.
Insinuating that Patriot is dishonest and even corrupt is serious. The editor and writer of the Utusan Online article owe the President and members of Patriot a public apology. We are prepared to seek legal remedies if the unconditional apology is not forthcoming.
What is even worse, due to the negligence of Utusan, the article attracted numerous disparaging comments from readers towards Brig Gen Dato Mohamed Arshad Raji personally and Patriot in general. These derogatory remarks are not just confined to Utusan readers, but has spread to social media where many also said that Patriots are stooges of DAP. So much hatred and repugnant postings has now resulted from Utusan’s omission.
Capt Dr Wong Ang Peng (Rtd)
Director of Public Communications
Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan