Consul-General denies bias in media coverage
Published on: Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Kota Kinabalu: The Consul-General of the People's Republic of China in Kota Kinabalu Office denied it was biased in providing media access to interview survivors of the recent catamaran tragedy. Consular General Chen Peijie (pic) said an exclusive interview had to be done and only to China's CCTV News to let those back in China know, including President Xi Jin Ping, that the survivors were recuperating well.

"President Xi felt sad and worried and needed to know the victims who survived are okay.

Other Chinese press have not been allowed," she said.

According to Chen, the victims had requested for privacy and having the need to relate their ordeal to the media.

She added recovering in a peaceful environment was the utmost priority for the survivors.

On Sunday, Former PBS Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Ariah Tengku Ahmad questioned the rationale behind barring local media practitioners from interviewing the survivors, except those from China.

She said it was form of discrimination for only allowing a foreign media crew to freely exercise its power and work on Malaysian soil.

"I think this is grossly unfair," she said.

Meanwhile, Kota Kinabalu Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KKCCCI) President Datuk Michael Lui expressed concern over the comment of China's Consul General Chen Peijie of "a justified solution including compensation" for the victims of the catamaran boat capsize near Pulau Magalum.

He said the Sabah Government should be responsible to assist the China tourists and come to a solution so that the discharged victims can return home earlier.

Lui also welcomed the statement by State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun that the Government would study the international norms and practices, that the company involved should be compensating the tragedy victims.

"Masidi is right that we should treat all tourists as our friends and we should assist them soonest possible," he said.

He hoped that a justified solution is being reached as soon as possible, as any delay in reaching final solution will definitely jeopardise the tourism industry in Sabah.


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