Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Alright Editor- We can forgive ... but you're still an idiot!

The apology issued by the management and editorial department of Sinar Harian was published on page 8 of today's issue.

"We admit the error in the publication of 'Objectives of the Christian movement' in the Info column on page 9, edition Aug 23, 2011, yesterday.

"The information published is not accurate.

"Therefore we retract the Info and apologise to all Sinar Harian readers, especially Christians, over the error committed."


A despicable piece of journalism
Rev Dr Hermen Shastri
Aug 24, 11

The Council of Churches of Malaysia welcomes the apology tendered by the Malay language daily Sinar Harian over its article 'Matlamat Gerakan Kristian' (Objectives of the Christian movement) published on Aug 23.

They have admitted that the information published in the article is inaccurate and in error. However we note that there has been no expression of remorse.

The suggestions that Christian groups would encourage immoral activities as part of an attempt to propagate their faith is clearly preposterous, erroneous, inflammatory, and a flagrant attack on another religion.

It is our view that any reasonable person would have found the article totally offensive, not just to the Christians in our country but to all decent-minded and peace-loving people.

This despicable piece of journalism, and other stories like it, should never be repeated. The management and the editorial department of Sinar Harian must now prove the sincerity of their apology by publicly stating what measures they are taking to ensure that stories of this nature are never published again in their newspaper.

Unless there are systemic changes in their editorial processes, and proper procedures and guidelines are put in place, there is no guarantee that the newspaper, or others like it, will not repeat the harm done on another occasion.

A respected and responsible newspaper must ensure at all times that it is never a party to callous and insensitive reporting bent on destroying the good relationship among the religious communities in our country.

Rev Dr Hermen Shastri is general secretary, Council of Churches of Malaysia.