Side Views

The Star and being Malaysian ― The Malaysian Insider

May 10, 2013

MAY 10 ― Nothing is more nauseating than hypocrisy.

After weeks and months of driving a wedge between races in Malaysia and contributing to the “Chinese tsunami” myth in its coverage, The Star has now decided it is time for reconciliation and unity.

So, today, it has a front page montage of many happy faces of Malaysians, topped off with a headline “We are Malaysia”.

Are we now expected to forget the attempts by The Star and its owner MCA to pit Muslims against non-Muslims through its hudud-bashing articles and advertisements? Didn’t they realise that the hudud bashing was offensive to Muslims and other God-fearing people? Didn’t the editors bother about national unity then?

Are we expected to suffer from amnesia and forget reports by The Star’s editors and columnists aimed at portraying the DAP as a chauvinist party and PAS, extremists?

Now that its slavish adherence to MCA’s strategy has resulted in a near-complete rejection by Malaysians, the party-owned newspaper has decided to play the unity card and talk up reconciliation.

Reconciliation, whether by Putrajaya or by its media, is only possible if there is sincerity.

And the starting point for the mainstream media is by giving fair coverage to all. Not salivating that Azmin Ali is causing some furore because he is not in the running to be mentri besar for Selangor, while conveniently forgetting to ask pointed questions about MCA’s continued relevance or why Gary Lim was fielded despite the charges against him.

Reconciliation is only possible if The Star and other media stop believing that a few column inches a day to the Opposition will qualify as being “balanced and fair”. Remember, more than 50 per cent of Malaysians voted for Pakatan Rakyat.

Gimmicks and symbolic gestures will not work. A contrived campaign to promote “We are Malaysia” will not work if you don’t accept that many Malaysians voted for change ― and that includes how the mainstream media functions.