John Inbaraj urges the management of The Star to recognise in its news coverage that certain groups’ persistent attacks on the Penang state government have gone a little overboard.
I chanced upon The Star (Metro edition of 19 February 2011) and was deeply disturbed by what I read under the caption “PHT denies challenging CM”. The last four paragraphs were dedicated to Mohamed Ghani Abd Jiman, Chairman of the Pertubuhan Anak-Anak Malaysia, who is perhaps better known for his tirades against Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng as the Komtar Merchants Association deputy president.
Mohamed Ghani presented three bouquets of “black” roses, a papaya and a small bunch of bananas to the CM’s special assistant, Ong See Fook, to be passed to his boss.
According to The Star, “Mohamed Ghani said the bouquets were for Lim, his political secretary Ng Wei Aik and the DAP. The reason why each bouquet has four roses is because ‘four’ has a bad meaning in Chinese. We also know that Lim does not like to eat bananas or papaya; so that is the reason we are giving them to him.”
That a national daily saw it fit to carry a death (the number four is associated with death in Chinese) wish on a democratically elected leader is sickening. That the Star is aligned to MCA makes the matter worse. Besides a complete lack of sensitivity, is the Star so blind a stooge to Umno?
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Umno’s persistent attacks on Lim Guan Eng and the Penang government and its dogged condemnation of everything and anything that the government has done have gone a little too far. The DAP and its PR coalition allies is the democratically elected government of Penang and all quarters must respect this right of the people of Penang.
The media has a strong role to play in propagating the ideals of democracy. Such vengeance by the Star and any media for that matter is undemocratic, unbecoming and quite unwarranted.
I do hope that someone in the higher echelons of The Star’s management will direct an apology to Lim Guan Eng and ensure that they never stoop to such levels of indecency in the future.
John Inbaraj is an Aliran member