Punching Of Photographer Uncalled For - Ahmad Maslan

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 5 (Bernama) -- The incident where a local newspaper photographer was punched while covering the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 tragedy at the Nirvana Memorial Centre in Sungai Besi, on Sept 2, was uncalled for, said Malaysian Press Photographers Association Adviser (MPPA) Datuk Ahmad Maslan.

"We have to respect each other in whatever circumstances, I am sure the photographer on duty to cover the news had no intention other than doing his work," he told reporters after launching the 'Kembara Lensa Murni 2014', organised by MPPA at the Menara Dato' Onn premises, Putra World Trade Centre, here Friday.

Ahmad, who is also the Deputy Minister of Finance, said that the media should be protected and given good cooperation because it is their responsibility to report the news as well as take photographs of incidents to inform the people of current developments.

"That's one of the risks of being a photographer ... I hope those who are out there, either individuals or politicians, need to understand that the media is only doing its duty," he said.

Meanwhile, he also supported MPPA's noble efforts through its bikers' who took the initiative to do good.

The three-day expedition which begins today, is joined by 25 photographers from the print and electronic media from various agencies who will be riding high powered motorcycles, while 15 more will take the van to the Darul Aitam Walmasakin Tunku Abdul Rahman (DATAR) orphanage in Alor Star, Kedah.

Meanwhile, people are urged not to look negatively on the Royal Malaysian Customs following the arrest of 12 Customs officers including a director of the State Customs suspected of involvement with an alcohol and cigarette smuggling syndicate in the Port Klang Free Trade Zone (PKFZ) two days ago by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission. MACC also arrested 12 members of the syndicate.

The detention was the result of more than a year of intelligence gathering on the largest smuggling syndicate in the Klang Valley, which evaded customs duties involving more than RM1 billion.

Maslan said the arrest did not mean that the entire Customs Department was corrupted and not to label them as having no credibility.

"The case only involves a few personnel. Moreover, the Customs has contributed significantly towards the country through the collection of RM36 billion annually, that benefit the people, through various initiatives and programmes carried out," he told reporters.

But he gave the assurance that the ministry would ensure that offences involving corruption would be addressed as soon as possible and it would cooperate with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and that those involved in corruption or financial misconduct would be brought to justice.


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