Thursday September 6, 2012
Photo of PM open house not doctored, says Bernama
KUALA LUMPUR: Suggestions by some quarters that Bernama had “doctored” a picture taken at Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s Hari Raya open house in Putrajaya are utterly absurd, says its editor-in-chief Datuk Yong Soo Heong.
“Time is of the essence for a professional and responsible news organisation like Bernama, and we do not have the time to indulge in irrational endeavours,” he said, adding that the national news agency’s photo unit had just been equipped with modern and state-of-the-art cameras and lenses this year.
Yong said the original picture in question, which showed a large and enthusiastic crowd at Najib’s open house, could be viewed at Bernama’s headquarters here.
He said mammoth crowds at the PM’s open house in Seri Perdana had been the norm since Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was the prime minister three decades ago.
On Saturday, an Opposition senator had issued a statement claiming that the picture, which had appeared in a number of newspapers, had been “doctored” by an amateur graphic artist and that open house pictures should depict the young, the old and the disabled in wheelchairs.
Yong said the photographer, Harry Salzman Abu Bakar – who has taken pictures of UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, British Prime Minister David Cameron and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the past – had used his creativity to depict the large crowd of well-wishers, especially the young.
Besides that picture, Harry Salzman had also taken other photos of the function, including some showing Najib waving to the crowd.
“One cannot deny that Datuk Seri Najib is a crowd-puller, not just at his own open house but at other public events as well, because pictures and video footage from other news organisations can testify to that,” Yong said. — Bernama