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Macau Concealers slam GCS for distorting facts and not treating media equally
Representatives of Macau Concealers (MC) petitioned the Government Information Bureau (GCS) on the grounds that there were “distorted facts” provided about Jason Chao’s (MC’s Director) detention. The association insists that the government “failed to treat the media equally”.
MC’s Director, Jason Chao, (who is also head of the New Macau Association) was taken into police custody while allegedly trying to cover events relating to the two activists Lei Kin Ion and Leong Sek.
The protesters claimed in their petition that, “GCS claimed that the MC Director lacked the ‘qualification’ to cover the event outside of the Macau Tower. This is misleading. The MC was covering the action of activists Lei and Leong, not the official event inside the Macau Tower, thus registration with the GCS would by no means be required.”
Besides the detention controversy, activists were also unsatisfied with “not being treated the same as other media by the government”.
On February 18th before the state head’s arrival, MC applied for media registration for the visit and Chao said that the GCS’s reply was that the sign-up period had closed. As for further procedures when applying for access to the government’s Information Broadcast System (IBS) as other media did, the Director was told that their criteria needs to be “observed.”
In response to the allegation, Director of GCS, Victor Chan Chi Ping told Portuguese newspaper Hoje Macau that the authority had not received MC’s application for opening a new IBS account.
Chao said Chan’s statement was untrue and the government failed to reply to their second request after Chan’s response. He condemned GCS by arguing it had failed to fulfill its role of offering assistance to media organizations. Moreover, “GCS distorted the facts by claiming MC was unqualified for covering an event in an attempt to justify the actions of the Judiciary Police.” The Judiciary Police detained Chao last month during the official event.
Freedom of Press was raised during discussions by United Nations’ Human Rights Committee and the activists also filed complaints over the detention. “The MSAR government just repeated their written report that they had already submitted to UN as an response to the Committee.” Chao said it was not a “positive response”.
GCS released a statement later declaring that written application is required and information needs to be verified before the organization is authorized by the system.
“We received two applications from Macau Concealers via fax and had delivered a reply according to related procedures. The Bureau will deal with the application accordingly,” GCS stated in a release yesterday.
Current users of IBS reached 170, including print media, radio, television, Macau correspondents as well as some associations, as announced by the Bureau.
Responsible Right of Expression — In the interest of freedom of expression, coupled with a true sense of responsibility to encourage community dialogue, the Macau Daily Times offers its readers the opportunity to express their opinions on new-related matters through this website. All opinions are welcome. However, we reserve the right to remove comments that are deemed to be obscene, or are merely insults written under the cloak of anonymity. MDT
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