Bernama News Channel (BNC) has clarified that it had not cancelled an interview programme with lawyer and activist Siti Zabedah Kasim, popularly known as Siti Kasim, scheduled earlier on Monday (June 4).
BNC, in a statement, said the news channel would communicate with her on the new date of the interview.
According to BNC’s chief operating officer Hakimi Mohd Zain, the interview was rescheduled as the producer Gerard Ratnam had felt that the show should focus on current issues such as the stalemate over the appointment of the Attorney-General.
“As a responsible news channel, BNC has never turned down or cancelled any interview with any individual of different beliefs and background.
“BNC believes that in assisting the government in nation-building, every segment of the community should be given the opportunity to voice their aspiration over the 24-hour news channel which has been in existence since 2008,” he said.
Hakimi said BNC regretted its decision to reschedule Siti’s interview had created confusion and dissatisfaction among viewers and the activist.
“We assured her that the channel will communicate with her on the new date of the interview,” he said.
Meanwhile, in an immediate response, Siti Kasim said she welcomed the clarification, adding that she would consider taking up the invitation if invited by BNC again.
The interview was to have been featured in a 30-minute show hosted by Tehmina Kaoosji which was supposed to have been aired live at 3.30pm on Monday (June 4).
Siti, best known for her strong criticism of Malaysia’s religious bureaucrats, was supposed to have talked about the challenges and reforms in post-election Malaysia.
Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo subsequently asked national news agency Bernama, which runs the television network, for an explanation why the interview was cancelled.
Earlier report: June 4, Gobind Orders Bernama to Explain Why Siti Kasim Interview Cancelled