Mind Development Institute chief executive officer Norizan Shariff said if the illegal rally organisers really wanted a fair and free media, they must realise that the pro-opposition media should be given the same evaluation.
"If they want to talk about media freedom, they must demand that the pro-opposition media be honest....but they have never been fair to the Barisan Nasional. What nice stories have they written about BN? All bad ones.
"In fact, the Kelantan government banned a national daily from covering its state assembly meeting which is a public meeting and not a closed-door meeting. So, what freedom are they talking about?" he said when contacted by Bernama.
He was asked to comment on the fifth of the eight demands of the illegal rally organisers, that RTM and Bernama provide fair and balanced reporting on all political parties contesting in the general election.
Criticising them for singling out RTM and Bernama in their demand, Norizan said they should realise that these two media organisations were the information dissemination organ for the government elected by the people, that was, BN.
He said the rally organisers should also not feel "hurt" if the other media like the private radio and television stations, and some news portals and bloggers chose to support the government as the decision depended on the respective editorial management.
"In fact, liberal and conservative media also exist in the democratic western countries which the illegal rally organisers worship," he said.
A lecturer at Universiti Utara Malaysia's College of Law, Government and International Studies, Mohamad Faisol Keling, said the media like RTM and Bernama were tasked with disseminating government policies and information to the people at large.
He said the opposition's action of hiding behind the Bersih illegal rally organisers in demanding freedom from these two media organisations only showed its desperation it the effort to mislead the public.
Mohamad Faisol said the government was regarded as still "soft" when it had not taken stern action although it was proven that the pro-opposition media, in playing up issues, had written lies or articles that were subversive.
"The government is very careful about this as it is balancing democracy and national stability. If it acts harshly, it will be operating like a communist country, but what we've been practising all this while, is democracy.
"However, if it is clear that something can cause tension or trouble in the country, then the government will take stern action in accordance with the law and Constitution."
Mohamad Faisol said media freedom in the context of the illegal rally organisers' stand, meant that the media must be pro-opposition.
"The opposition and rally organisers view the pro-opposition media as good. This means the opposition themselves do not really understand the meaning of media freedom.
"The opposition and rally organisers' accusation that Malaysia does not practise media freedom is wrong as there exist a lot of alternative media, especially through the Internet, that support them," he said.
tunku : to me our federal government especially home ministry is extremely "soft". they should be tough when handling issues like the illegal rallies etc.bersih is just to create tense and chaos in the government day to day business which they succeeded partially due to our 'soft' home ministry.bersih demands should be implemented first in the pakatan states.till date they are not transparent,accountable etc.they even cheats in the electoral registrations.bersih is just another vehicle for anwar to create tense and chaos in the country.