PARLIAMENT, June 25 — Parliament officials have backed down and allowed reporters free access to the lobby this morning. In response, members of the media have called off their boycott.
The situation has therefore reverted to normal or what had been allowed reporters prior to yesterday’s cordoning off of the main lobby except for the lunch break for members of parliament, from 1pm to 2.30pm.
The barricades had been put up for security reasons, according to House officials, but this raised such a hue and cry that the action, ordered by Minister in the Prime
Minister’s Department Datuk Nazri Mohd Aziz, was reversed this morning.
A number of Opposition MPs, including Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, and all the editorial bosses of the country’s leading newspapers were unanimously opposed to the press curbs.
The editors-in-chief of the largest circulation dailies of every language had also spoke in one voice in support of the boycott of events not directly to do with parliamentary proceedings in the chamber.
Journalists were glad the standoff is over and were seen moving freely to mingle with MPs in the lobby this morning. Many shared the sentiment that a substantial hindrance to their ability to perform their duties effectively had been suddenly put in place when the lobby barricades came up.