Double standards — Yi En
AUG 9 — For the past few days I have been paying particular attention to news reports on DurianFM founder Jamaluddin Ibrahim's sale of 50 per cent stake to a pro-Umno company.
I have been watching the development very closely these days over the print as well as online media for the simple reason that Jamaluddin has earlier openly declared his disgruntlement over the political intervention of Chinese press in the country. He feels that his freedom of expression has been smothered.
While crying foul over the ill treatment he has been accorded by the Chinese media, he has given full approval to the online media.
Both Malaysiakini.com and MerdekaReview.com have in the past given him the much needed moral support by projecting him as a victim of media oppression. When Jama reiterates his "freedom of expression" discourse, these online media players have been firmly behind him.
Several months ago, when Jama was no longer allowed to promote his DurianFM station on the newspapers, some long-time critics of Sin Chew Daily have harnessed the opportunity to hit out at Sin Chew. While hurling insults at the Chinese daily for being willing to subject itself to political intervention and self-imposed restrictions, they displayed their undivided backing for Jama.
I used to believe that these two websites supposedly championing the cause of freedom of expression must be fearless voicing up against anything deemed unjust and irrational. However, after the announcement of the sale of DurianFM to the pro-Umno company was made, all that I read was extensive and impartial coverage from the local Chinese newspapers while online media opt to keep mum over the issue.
On the August 1 edition of Sin Chew Daily, I read of both the harsh criticisms of a DurianFM guest DJ hitting out at the political infiltration into the radio station as well as Jama's defensive statement on the radio station's sale. As a reader, I feel that such equitable coverage has protruded the newspaper's neutral stand and is in conformity to the principles of unbiased news reporting.
And when I tried to look for additional information on the sale of DurianFM online, I was astonished at the meagre attention the online media had given to this subject. Some of the most merciless online critics who used to exalt Jama as the champion of speech freedom, now choose to retract their harsh criticisms, offering instead subdued responses.
I don't mean to talk bad about Jama as share disposal is a perfectly normal commercial practice in the market. Jama has full discretion as to buy or sell his shares. Nevertheless, for a person who used to slam the Chinese newspapers hard for their affinity to Umno, Jama has now stooped so low as to willingly accept the infiltration of Umno's influences. Such a self contradictory behaviour which has shockingly evaded the whip of online critics, is simply incomprehensible.
Perhaps the only explanation I could try to offer is that such critics are practising double standards on Chinese newspapers and online media. — mysinchew.com
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.