LETTER

BN-owned media's shameless whitewash

CL Tang

Published
Modified 1 May 2012, 8:30 am

Three days after Bersih 3.0, Malaysian hermits who lives in caves, who have never heard of the Internet and who only read the mainstream newspapers would probably have the impression that it was the police force who were protesting and ended up physically assaulted by angry civilians.

Despite clear evidence of police brutality available on YouTube, hundreds of personal testimonies by victims and personal witnesses, and pictures of appalling injuries spread all over the Internet, the BN-owned media shamelessly whitewashed the government-sanctioned atrocities against its own people.

Despite hundreds if not thousands of Bersih participants, most of whom were already dispersing, being beaten and chased like criminals by baton-wielding police and ending up with injuries, these crimes were not reported.

Despite thousands of the ordinary rakyat suffering beatings from the authorities, the mainstream media chose to highlight one single case of an injured police personnel.

Despite scores of journalists and media personnel being abused by the police, their cameras and memory cards confiscated, The Star , instead of coming to the defence of its colleagues and upholding the media's right to cover events without fear of reprisals from the authorities, it chose to showcase one single reporter's story of being roughed up by the protesters.

So much for BN's so-called greater freedom for the media via the Printing Presses and Publications Act amendments.

Contrast the shameless twisting of the events from the Malaysian media with an excerpt from Business Times , Singapore (April 30, 2012):

" Why shoot tear gas without sufficient warning? And would not a round or two have been sufficient to start dispersing the mass of people ...? The manner in which the rally was dispersed in the presence of many elderly, children and even the wheelchair-bound.... "

I can hardly believe that the day would come when we rely on a Singapore newspaper to come to the defence of peace-loving Malaysians who took part in a largely peaceful rally.

I reserved the harshest criticism for The Star . Whereas the Utusan and its lot have long dropped any pretext of not being a partisan paper, what with its severely biased editorials and even at times blatant lies, The Star tries to masquerade itself as a paper that still upholds journalistic integrity and balanced reporting.

The Star buries its underlying BN-bias stance in its long-winded editorials and reports that contains just a touch of the truth before ending it with at times subtle, at times direct BN-friendly conclusions, that is not supported by the facts but merely opinions of the writer.

But what can we expect when The Star is ultimately owned by MCA, which has to avoid antagonizing Umno?

If Dr Chua Soi Lek, or any of the MCA leaders, had bothered coming to Bersih 3.0 and looked at a most beautiful Malaysian scene - where hundreds of old Chinese uncles and aunties who would ordinarily be practicing "tai-chi" in the parks; young teenagers who rose at 6am for the first time in years on a Saturday; parents who believes in Confucian values and always telling their children to respect authority but brought the entire family; came together to fight a cause they passionately believe in, I think they would realise that come the next GE, if it was carried out fairly, MCA, and its counterparts, would be wiped out.

But don't fret, Chua Soi Lek and pals, there are always jobs available at The Star .