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Star columnists – are they twisting the truth?

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Journalists and columnists have a sacred duty to uphold truth and justice, asserts John Inbaraj.

Trash it is, without a doubt. But some features on health and fitness, sports and finance draw you to buy The Star occasionally, especially on weekends.

When that happens I find it difficult to avoid the likes of writers Joceline Tan and Baradan Kuppusamy. Without a doubt they are skilful writers in the English language. Such is their skill that with mere words they can make black look white!

I have decided to just have fun with them and ask readers to join me in critically analysing their views if only to let them know that there are intelligent, discerning people out there who treat their views with contempt.

Let’s look at a couple of Sundays gone by (16 September, National Day). Joceline said, “Going solo could backfire on S’gor” while Baradan’s caption on Monday, 17 September reads “PR just hoping to retain Selangor jewel”.


Tactfully Joceline belittles Anwar. The following quotes from her article should help one see how glaringly anti-Anwar, anti-Khalid Ibrahim and anti-PKR she is.

The PKR de facto leader has been quite a news maker over the last few weeks. First, there was the nasty business of the bus getting splashed with red paint when it stopped over in Kota Baru … A couple of flying bricks also left two starburst shatters on the front windscreen …

She goes on:

Before the buzz could subside, his bodyguard…..caused a sensation when he drew out his automatic pistol and pointed it at a group of people in Malacca.

Note: She states that pointing a gun is serious business and quite indefensible…

A professional bodyguard should not behave like a nightclub bouncer.

Question: are nightclub bouncers allowed to point guns?

The police, of course, are investigating the bodyguard not the trouble makers and Joceline saw it not fit to rebuke the police for allowing the opposition leader of the country to be harassed to such an extent. To the person in the street, are such actions to be deemed part of government strategy and therefore legal?

Joceline slowly drifts into the crux of her article which is about Selangor holding separate state elections. Shocks, gasps from both sides of the political divide, hasty decision and “Pakatan Rakyat politicians were as surprised as those from the Barisan” were some of the words she chose to describe her perception of what was actually meant as a possibility.

A key reason for this to happen was that the EC had failed to clean up Selangor’s electoral roll which has risen by about 450,000 new voters.

Strangely though, Joceline has admitted in the last paragraph of the first column that:

Pakatan leaders have toyed with the idea of holding separate polls as far back as 2010.

Did she shoot herself in the foot?

Readers are well aware of hundreds of thousands of Malaysians at Bersih rallies calling for clean and fair elections where evidence of “ghost voters” was revealed.

There is much more. Twists and turns to accommodate Barisan’s agenda, opinions of conformists and a load of tactfully worded personal opinions.

Some may ask, where has integrity gone? Where has independent journalism gone? Does one in government agencies or those leaning towards government agencies apparently have to sell their souls for a pay-check or continued employment?

Baradan Kuppusamy receives my salute for thinking out of the box.

With Selangor going its own way, it appears that Pakatan has given up the fight for Putrajaya to do battle only to retain the ‘jewel in the crown’ state in a separate election.


Holding polls separately from parliamentary polls:

is an admission that Putrajaya … is now beyond reach.

That’s surely an ‘A’ for creative thinking!

The decision also shows they (Pakatan) are prepared to just hunker down, fight and hope to convince voters to let Pakatan continue to rule Selangor as a consolation prize after Putrajaya is lost.’

The ostensible reason for Selangor to go it alone is that the state’s electoral list has not been cleaned of ‘thousands of dubious voters’ an allegation immediately denied by Election Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yusof.

Of course! Does anyone expect him to agree?

Baradan goes on:

It is a reason that is difficult to buy since the voters’ list will be the same whether Selangor goes it alone or with the rest.

Well, Mr Baradan, look at it this way. Pakatan wins Putrajaya. There are still months left. The new Pakatan government sacks the entire Election Commision and replaces it with credible people (like Ambiga). Clean the electoral roll and then call for Selangor’s state elections? Isn’t it possible?

When Barisan lost it was a bitter pill to swallow. Najib has declared that Barisan must re-capture the richest state “at all costs”. That normally means even if you have to play dirty.

Indeed political parties and NGOs have uncovered numerous discrepancies. The unwillingness to rectify the roll is an indication of foul play. Over the years many forms of cheating have been uncovered and highlighted by various groups. Is there a possibility of ‘special’ indelible ink that can be washed away with certain chemicals?

Day by day, the voice of the opposition is rising. The indication of the opposition marching into Putrajaya is real. The people see this clearly. This may be the cause for our writers to lean so aggressively towards the Barisan. Maybe they are being pressured … maybe … but these are people born into this world with wisdom, who have acquired knowledge and are bestowed by the almighty with the power of discernment. They have a sacred duty to uphold truth and justice.

John Inbaraj is an Aliran member

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

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17 Oct 2012 9.02am

oh dear. why do you think joceline and baradan are twistng facts. zubaidah and azmi…???

Joceline might have been anti-BN in her students days does not mean she has turned over.

what is wrong with you people?

Many of us were anti-establishment in our students days, for God’s sakes.

What? Just because they don’t believe in DSAI like you guys and they’re terrible journalists?

hey…they, more than you guys…knew DSAI when he was DPM and Finance Minister…

Because NST and Star are linked to the BN and they’re trash? because they’re not on the same as you pro-opposition people, thye’re trash.

Oh please…get over it.

Mustapha Kamal
Mustapha Kamal
30 Sep 2012 10.21pm

What John Inbaraj says, applies equally to Zubaidah Abu Bakar and Azmi Anshar of the NST. The latter’s vitriol against DSAI has to be seen to be believed ! So much so, I sometimes think he has a huge chip on the shoulder regarding DSAI ! And these people masquerade as “journalists”, giving each other pats on the back at their annual slap up dinners, whilst in actuality, they are nothing but poor students of the Goebbels’s Institute Of Spinmeisters !

Sunny Tneoh
25 Sep 2012 1.12pm

Several weeks ago I bought a Saturday Star, immediately on seeing the rubbish written by Jocelyn Tan I regretted giving my 1.50 to this crap paper.

najib manaukau
24 Sep 2012 3.36pm

She is now earning a living from the … lackeys of Umno and is therefore much obliged to sing and dance according to their tunes. … and I bet she will write and dance to a different tune after the GE !

24 Sep 2012 2.21pm

Joceline was involved in anti-barisan activities during her days in USM…
She and her group formed a ‘Barisan Pekerja’ with workers from the Electronics factories.And they started an office in bayan baru named..’Rumah Kita”
From here they had meetings with the retrenched workers from Mostek and Atlas Electronics and (allegedly) poisoned their minds to go against BN.
She was also involved in printing Posters..’Jangan Undi BN” and was personnally involved in pasting them….
Now she has (gone) over!!!!
FYI…I was one of those brained wash into their activities…..

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