— The Malaysian Insider
Mar 07, 2013
MARCH 7 — While the country’s attention has been focused on the military offensive to get rid of Sulu gunmen in Sabah’s east coast, Umno-controlled media TV3 and its sister stations are highlighting demands calling for politician Chua Tian Chang’s citizenship to be reviewed and revoked.
Demanding citizenship to be revoked is now new in Malaysia. Other groups have asked the same for Bersih co-chair Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan for her call for electoral reforms.
Now the PKR vice-president, popularly known as Tian Chua, is the latest to get that treatment for allegedly questioning who is behind the Lahad Datu standoff and violence.
This comes at a time when both sides say the issue should not be politicised as security forces need to focus on getting rid of the Filipino militants who want to claim Sabah in the name of the Sulu sultanate.
Now what if the shoe is on the other foot? Will TV3 report it and devote 15 minutes of airtime to cover such events?
Have they covered testimony of Umno officials involved in Project IC — the citizenship-for-votes caper now being investigated by a royal commission of inquiry (RCI)?
The RCI hearings had revealed two names, former ministers Tan Sri Aziz Shamsuddin and the late Tan Sri Megat Junid Ayob as being involved in the scandal.
Yet, no one in authority or mainstream media has questioned such actions or whether it is treason, and citizenship be reviewed. Or that the citizenship given to illegals be revoked immediately as about one-third of the Sabah population are said to be illegal immigrants.
Why the double standards? Because it is politics and we are now in the run-up to Election 2013.
What if there is full media freedom and independent television stations question Umno officials and their right to citizenship? Would news then be about who has a right to be a citizen rather than the issues of the day, good governance, corruption and justice in Malaysia?
Malaysia needs honest reporting, not the blatantly one-sided reporting that will just disgust viewers and make them hate the owners of TV3. That’s the policy blowback that such reporting creates in Malaysia.
The days of feeding such trash to ignorant Malaysians are over. The citizens now have options for news, be it local television or foreign news programming. And the Internet.
Malaysia needs to focus on getting peace back in Sabah, not this gutter journalism and political sniping. Leave that to the politicians. Have some self-respect as journalists for once.