Utusan Malaysia tickled journalists in particular and Malaysians generally no end with its preposterous allegation of “stone age” journalism against Malaysiakini when all Malaysians know that Utusan is the most egregious perpetrator of this sin in the history of Malaysian journalism.
This is another classic case of “Thief Shouting Thief” by Utusan Malaysia, continuing its most reprehensible brand of unethical, dishonest and gutter journalism in the past six years as the mouthpiece of UMNO, totally in contrast to the high standards of journalism set and maintained by Utusan Melayu in the early decades of its history.
The Utusan editor, Zulkiflee Bakar, in an analysis piece yesterday, accused Malaysiakini of putting up a facade of transparency, but “everyone” knows its inclinations, purpose and hidden agenda.
He wrote: “Responsible journalism does not entail the reporting of facts that have yet to be verified, not reporting issues that can cause controversies and definitely not distorting the facts for the political purpose of some quarters.”
Zulkiflee does not seem to realise the irony that he was in fact making a confession the journalistic sins and misdeeds committed by Utusan Malaysia under his charge.
No media in Malaysia except for Utusan Malaysia could be more guilty of the journalistic sins and misdeeds he had outlined.
The MCA-owned Star is bad, but not as bad as the UMNO-owned Berita Harian and New Straits Times.
But even Star, Berita Harian and New Straits Times are light years away from the egregious dishonesty and depravity of the “stone age” journalism practised by Utusan Malaysia, which does not bat an eye-lid to disseminate downright lies and falsehoods as truth and fact.
This is why Utusan Malaysia has repeatedly broken its own record for having lost the most number of defamation suits.
The question is when the most egregious perpetrator of “stone age” journalism in the country would turn over a new page and begin to be guided by ethical and responsible canons of journalism?
Utusan Malaysia has fathered many myths, including the fictitious “Red Bean Army” (RBA), at one time even influencing UMNO Ministers to publicly join the Utusan “chase” of the RBA.
Almost a year ago, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim had even proposed a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the RBA.
I have publicly challenged Shahidan to get the Cabinet to set up a RCI on the RBA, for it will expose how wild, reckless, time-wasting and unproductive are all these baseless allegations about the fictitious RBA, distracting not only journalists but also political leaders and civil servants from the real and important challenges of ensuring the success of Malaysian nation-building and economic development.
Utusan’s continuing obsession with RBA is the most potent sign that it has yet to be weaned from the vices of “stone age” journalism.