A packed press conference – followed by a virtual media blackout! It's a familiar story. Largely influenced by powerful political and corporate interests, the mainstream media appear to be blacking out any negative news relating to Patrick Lim's Penang Global City Centre project, which was launched by Prime Minister on 12 September.
On Saturday, 15 September, six of the main Penang-based NGOs came together to issue a joint statement against the development of the PGCC.
The press conference was packed. There was even an "ntv7" cameraman present to videotape the entire proceedings. (Do you really think he was from ntv7?)
But what happened after that? Only Sin Chew carried a centre-page report with photographs of the miniature model of the project – with all 37 skyscrapers shown. Utusan Malaysia carried a small report about NGOs objecting to the project.
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That was about it. Sometimes you wonder why the reporters bother to turn up.
What about the other newspapers? The main English-language dailies have been silent about dissenting views on the PGCC. Most of the newspapers have not mentioned or highlighted the 37 towers, almost all of them above 40 storeys.
Is it because the Prime Minister has thrown his weight behind the project that none of them dares to carry critical views about the PGCC?