By Dr Mahathir Mohamad:
1. "Hold strongly to the principle of truth as the credibility of an institution depends on it" said Dato Seri Abdullah Badawi, the PM.
2. Does he really believe in reporting the truth or in spinning the truth?
3. When reporters met me during press conferences, I asked them why they are interviewing me when they know very well that anything I said would either be blacked out or spun so that I seem to say just the opposite of what I said.
4. The explanation they gave was that they had no control over what is printed from their reports. Privately they tell of how Kalimullah would telephone editors what to print and how to print.
5. And so when I was asked to comment on the lowering of the oil price and I said "Good for the people. We should have more by-elections so that the oil price would be lowered some more".
6. They knew I was referring to the Permatang Pauh election, which was, then in progress. The lowered price was supposed to win votes. I don't think it did.
7. But the papers only reported that I said the lowering of the oil price was good for the people. Where is the truth?
8. I know for a fact that criticisms of the Government or of Dato Seri Abdullah, his state of denial, which I commented often enough, had never been printed. But many others complained that if they say anything against Dato Seri Abdullah or something that may sound like supporting me it would not be printed.
9. I called a press conference to speak about Blair, the war criminal's visit, and nothing appeared in the media. I had to put my statement on my blog.
10. Announcements made by UMNO members who had resigned from the party are also not printed. Any adverse comments against the Government would never see daylight.
11. When he assumed the office of Prime Minister in 2003, Abdullah promised to be transparent. But immediately editors were removed and Abdullah's own editors from Singapore were installed in the New Straits Times.
12. Kalimullah controls all the papers including those owned by the MCA.
13. Many senior journalists of the New Straits Times and Utusan have been retired or have left. The papers and the TV have become propaganda machines for the Government of Abdullah Badawi. During the March 2008 Elections the Government-owned TV openly campaigned for the Barisan Nasional.
14. What is the result? The circulation of the NST has decreased and so have the viewers of Government TV stations. Even the non-Government stations have no freedom to report the truth except when they put the Abdullah Government in good light.
15. People are turning to the blogs to learn about what is happening to the country. The Government, as admitted by the Minister of Home Affairs and denied by another Minister, has blocked one blogger. All the undertakings of the Government not to censor the internet have been disregarded.
16. And yet the PM has the audacity to ask the media to "hold strongly to the principle of truth". What truth?