Malaysiakini NEWS

Main frontpages snub Bersih, Chinese press still yellow

Published:  |  Modified:

Even though the Bersih 4 rally ended just before midnight on a high note last night, the front pages in today's main newspapers, with the exception of the Chinese press, seemed to have largely moved on from the mammoth rally.

Instead, they focused on Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's Merdeka Eve speech at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre last night as well as the National Day celebrations today.

The conclusion of the two-day Bersih rally was relegated to a few short stories inside the newspapers, a stark difference from yesterday's front pages in which the rally dominated , turning news racks Bersih yellow.

Not all newspapers have moved on from the rally, as Umno mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia continued its front page attack on the rally with the headline ' Biadab, Kotor ' (Rude, Dirty).

For the other newspapers, most of their stories on the Bersih rally highlighted the fact that it stayed peaceful throughout and that it ended peacefully.

In contrast, the Chinese dailies continued to front page and give prominent reports to the rally, with China Press , Guang Ming Daily and Nanyang Siang Pau all leading with the rally’s Merdeka Eve finale.

Guang Ming, for example had a three-page exclusive, including reports that business picked up tremendously during the weekend rally and brought in hefty profits to traders, in direct contrast to Utusan ’s claim yesterday that Bersih had ruined business in the heart of the city.

However, Sin Chew Daily played it safe by leading with the government celebrations alongside mention of the Bersih rally on the front page.

It is notable that Bersih even made the front page of Taiwan's Taipei Times .

Dr M news buried

Although former prime minister and vocal Najib critic Dr Mahathir Mohamad's second and longer appearance at the rally yesterday did not make the front pages, the main dailies carried brief reports in the inner pages.

The reports were largely neutral in reporting Mahathir's presence at the rally yesterday, for example reporting that he was there to show solidarity with the protesters.

Others reported that various Umno ministers were disappointed in Mahathir's actions and that he appeared to be "going against his principles", citing his crackdown on rallies during his time as prime minister.

Mahathir's comments during his press conference at Bersih yesterday that he was there to call for Najib's resignation and that the protesters had a right to voice against a government that did not care, were left out of most of the stories.

Yesterday, the Bersih rally monopolised most of the front pages of all newspapers.

The Bersih rally, which lasted 34 hours over the weekend, remained peaceful throughout with only minimal police presence in Kuala Lumpur.

At the peak of the rally, there were about 100,000 people concentrated at Jalan Raja, Jalan Tun Perak and the surrounding streets.

Bersih gathered to make five demands: fair and clean elections, strengthening parliamentary democracy, a transparent government, the right to protest and to save the national economy.

Related reports

News racks turn yellow on Bersih day 2

Tens of thousands turn up in overseas Bersih 4 rallies

I support the people, not Bersih, says Dr M

Dr M cites Marcos, says rallies needed for lawless gov't

Mahathir returns to Bersih, spends over 6 minutes

Hisham: Dr M 'crossed the line' by attending Bersih

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