Saturday November 14, 2009
Hisham: Only The Herald’s application to print in Kadazan not approved
By DHARMENDER SINGH and LOURDES CHARLES
PUTRAJAYA: The Home Ministry has denied retracting the printing permit for the Catholic weekly newsletter The Herald.
Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said The Herald still had its permit to print its weekly newsletter in Bahasa Malaysia, English, Chinese and Tamil.
“It is only their application to print the newsletter in the Kadazan language that was never approved.
“Even in the application to print in the Kadazan language, the reason was not given because the editor wrote to tell me that they did not want to proceed with the intention under current circumstances,” he told reporters after chairing his ministry’s post-Cabinet meeting here yesterday.
Hishammuddin said the matter over the permit seemed to be a case of miscommunication, whether this be deliberate or not, giving rise to the perception that the ministry was not allowing its printing in any language.
The Herald editor Father Andrew Lawrence was reported on Thursday as saying that the newletter, which had its 2010 publishing permit approved in August, had received a second letter a month later, stating that this had not been allowed.
He had said the letter had asked the publishers to apply for the refund of the RM800 paid for the weekly’s permit.
Hishammuddin said he had ordered his officers not to refute allegations through the media but to meet with those involved in publishing the newsletter for an amicable solution, after which a meeting was held at 4.30pm yesterday.
“I told my officers that in any case, in which people manipulate sensitive issues affecting the nation and the people, it is better to discuss face-to-face with those involved. If this still cannot be resolved, then I will meet them myself,” he said,
When contacted, Father Andrew confirmed that the newsletter had received approval to print in 2010.
He said this was told to him in a meeting arranged by Hishammud- din’s special officer Datuk Lau Yeng Peng and the ministry’s officials.
“I was told that the August letter that gave us the approval was the right one and for us to ignore the September letter.
“The meeting was amicable and cordial,” he said.