DAP has lashed out at an RTM1 report which linked opposition leaders to the 'Murtads in Malaysia & Singapore' Facebook group.
It was shown on its 8pm prime-time news slot last night.
DAP national publicity secretary Tony Pua said in a statement that Information, Communications, and Culture Minister Rais Yatim must take responsibility for what he termed as "the most despicable piece of incendiary false news reporting on national TV, and ensure that those responsible for it are sacked immediately".
RTM1 had highlighted the alleged association of DAP leaders such as Tan Kok Wai, Charles Santiago, Boo Cheng Hau, Ean Yong Hian Wah with the group.
Pua considered this as "despicable and sickening".
The MP for PJ Utara added that RTM1 even placed the spotlight on the chairpresident of Parti Socialis Malaysia (PSM) and the state assemblyperson for Kota Damansara, Dr Nasir Hashim (above), insinuating the betrayal of his own faith.
He said this "news" report was obviously calculated to inflame sentiments and anger among Malays and Muslims in the country, especially towards Pakatan Rakyat whose leaders' names were "found" to be part of the group.
"The problem is those responsible in RTM1 obviously did not bother to find the truth to the story but went ahead to make the baseless insinuations above.
"RTM1 either were too ignorant to know, or did not want to know the fact that the 'add to group' function in Facebook is such that you cannot prevent a group administrator from adding you to any group.
"There is no requirement to secure one's permission or approval for adding a Facebook member to a group. Therefore all of the accused 'supporters' of the Facebook page did not intend to, or never knew they had 'joined' the group."
Pua said RTM1 was completely unethical in its reporting by not first verifying the above information with the relevant people who were 'implicated' by the Facebook page, especially since they were Pakatan leaders who were easily accessible.
He felt RTM1 should have instead made a news report to cite the existence of the 'Murtads in Malaysia & Singapore' Facebook page and criticising the administrators for adding Pakatan leaders to the page, to cause anger among the people.
"However RTM1 chose to emphasise the supposed support shown by these leaders to the page. RTM1 must be charged for making and disseminating false news to incite hatred among ordinary Malaysians," said Pua.
False news reportHe added that this false RTM1 news report followed closely upon another allegedly fake news item aired by private television station TV3 on Aug 21 which claimed that proselytisation was taking place at a tuition centre in Old Klang Road after complaints by a non-existent 'Surau Al-Musyrikin'.
"It is absolutely clear that the above incendiary and seditious false news reports by the government-owned and Umno-associated media organisations are part of a systematic and orchestrated campaign to divide the people and retain power for BN in the next general elections.
"The desperation of the Najib administration is so deep that BN is willing to not only spread false news, but also to use the highly-charged religious sentiments to tear the country apart."
He said DAP condemned the actions of the TV stations in the strongest possible terms and demanded that Rais (right) apologise on behalf of the TV stations for making false and seditious news reports.
"Rais must also conduct an immediate investigation into the completely lack of professionalism in both RTM1 and TV3 and insist that the responsible parties are removed from the posts" he concluded.