PETALING JAYA - PAS has come under fire over its directive to the media covering the upcoming party assembly that they must not write negative reports and on how they should dress.
MCA has claimed that PAS is behaving like the Taliban by restricting coverage and imposing a dress code on media workers.
MCA Publicity Bureau chairman Senator Datuk Chai Kim Sen said the move is subjective and PAS could shift the goalpost any time according to its whims and fancies.
"To prevent doubt and prove its sincerity, PAS should list down the types of articles it considers appropriate or offensive," he said in a statement yesterday.
It was reported on Monday that PAS would ban any media from covering its 61st muktamar in Kuala Selangor from June 4 to 6 for publishing "any news which should not have been reported and which causes negative impact in the opinion of the PAS central committee".
A dress code is also imposed on male media workers - no striped and chequered long-sleeved shirts or T-shirts, only formal office attire.
Female Muslim media workers should wear baju kurung, kebaya labuh or long-sleeved blouses, while for non-Muslim female workers, sleeveless tops and tight-fitting or revealing clothes are out.
"Shorts, skirts with slits and slippers are also banned," the PAS statement said. All women covering the event are also encouraged to wear headscarves.
Chai said the censorship by PAS only points to its "fears of independent media reporting and shows that it does not want to improve on its weaknesses to benefit the rakyat, especially on hudud law".
"News reporting and commentaries are done from different angles and it's the responsibility of the media to act as a check-and-balance, whether at the federal or state level," he said.
He asked if PAS wanted to prevent the media from reporting its internal chasm between the ultra-conservatives apparently aligned with its president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and the so-called Erdogan group supposedly led by deputy president Mohamed Sabu.
Chai also urged PAS to explain the rationale behind the dress code.