79-Day Countdown to 13GE – What unethical depths and bottomless pits are going to be plumbed by UMNO/BN leaders and their mainstream media (MSM) before the 13GE?

Yesterday, I made a plea for an end to the politics of lies and falsehoods in the run-up to the 13th General Elections, which must be held latest in 156 days by June 27, but is expected to be held in less than 70 days.

I was referring to the latest defamation suit lost by UMNO mouthpiece, Utusan Malaysia, this time to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, earning a rebuke by the judge, Justice V.T. Singham who found Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd and its chief editor Abdul Aziz Ishak as guilty of damaging Anwar’s reputation and exposing him to ridicule and scorn.

In his judgment, Singham stressed that journalists and editors should be careful with what they write so as not to include comment, which may impugn somebody.

The judge said: “The press should have no greater power in impressing or misleading the minds of the people when compared to the reputation of an individual.

“It is essential that journalists, editors and publishers should take great care before any article which tends to harm the reputation of an individual is published. Reckless articles that contain insinuation or imputation without verification are to be avoided.”

But the judge’s advice had no effect whatsoever on the UMNO/BN mainstream media and neither my plea for an end to the dishonest politics of lies and falsehoods, and in particular that the UMNO/Barisan Nasional mainstream media (MSM) should observe the most rudimentary canons of journalistic ethics and to stop being ‘Lies-Papers”.

This was shown by another egregious lie and falsehood by the UMNO/BN mainstream media today – this time by New Straits Times in its false report headlined “Wife of ailing MP angry at DAP”, (p.6) which was nothing but a pack of lies without an ounce of truth.

Quoting another rogue news portal, the NST claimed that Irene Chang, the wife of Sibu DAP member of parliament and Sarawak DAP Chairman Wong Ho Leng, “is said to have criticized the party for failing to provide or offer financial support to her husband, who has a brain tumour” and even quoting her as saying that “the party’s leadership was heartless” and scolding DAP Secretary-General, Lim Guan Eng.

Publishing lies and falsehoods already violate the most elementary ethics and canons of journalism, but to concoct lies and falsehoods just to extract political capital but utterly heedless of the pain and suffering they would cause to individuals who are already under great stress and pressure as NST had done to Wong Ho Leng and Irene Chang is a most wretched and contemptible deed, and only those who are inhumane and even inhuman can approve of such an action.

What makes NST action most unforgivable is that Irene Chang had put the following clarification on her facebook yesterday:

“I have been made aware of a certain article posted online and which reported me as having complained against our party leadership.

“I am absolutely furious. There is absolutely no truth in this article.

“I did not give any interview nor did I ever complain against our party or against anyone. More importantly, never did I ever feel, for a second that I have a cause to complain against our party or anyone in specific.

“ In fact, since my husband’s medical condition was diagnosed, I have been too worried and concerned about his medical condition than to worry whether the party is providing any financial support or otherwise.

“But having said this, I put on record that since our party leaders have been told of my husband’s condition, each and everyone of them, have been unbelievably supportive and caring.

“Both my husband and I have, in fact felt that we have been very blessed to know these people, who have somehow, crossed over the line from being political comrades to being very caring friends.

“And my family and I have been very touched by the call for support for my husband by our Secretary General, YAB Lim Guan Eng, an appreciation of which was posted by our eldest daughter, Suzanne Gail Wong, in her facebook on 14th January 2013.

“Therefore, it would be very unfair and unjust to let this article be passed around for people to pass judgment on our party leaders, our party and me, without any basis at all. I therefore strongly condemn this article for each and every sentence therein is a lie.”

The question I want to pose to UMNO/BN leaders today is what unethical depths and bottomless pits are they and UMNO/BN mainstream media going to plumb before the 13GE?

  1. #1 by cseng on Tuesday, 22 January 2013 - 2:28 pm

    Najib’s Transformation Program, transforming media into media of lies and only lies…

  2. #2 by gofortruth on Tuesday, 22 January 2013 - 2:29 pm

    Our hearts & support go for Wong Ho Leng and Irene Chang and their family during this difficult time.

    Can Irene Chang sue the papers?

    These papers have been tools of UMNO & its lap dogs to poison our young minds and old alike for years & years . If not for the arrival of the internet, 99% of the people, including myself, would still be blinded by those poisonous lies. Shame on BN!

  3. #3 by Bigjoe on Tuesday, 22 January 2013 - 2:51 pm

    Not that lying is acceptable in any form but we have come to expect from UMNO/BN politicians. BUT this is more than just lying – its DEPRAVITY – simply INDECENT..

    When I think of all the Malay friends I have had and even including many grassroot UMNO members and leaders in the many decades of my life, this act to me is SO FOREIGN – ALIEN in fact. The malice, the ugliness, the indecency.. Its just nothing like I know of what any Malay that I know to all my long life..

  4. #4 by All For The Road on Tuesday, 22 January 2013 - 3:31 pm

    The NST has stood so shamelessly low to fabricate such an unethical and despicable write-up to bring down the DAP and most notably Secretary-General YAB Lim Guan Eng. It has indeed become a ‘lie-paper’!
    Just boycott buying the paper – its daily circulation has shrunk dismally of late!

  5. #5 by yhsiew on Tuesday, 22 January 2013 - 3:36 pm

    The immediate thing DAP can do is ask NST to retract the report and make an apology to Irene Chang.

  6. #6 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Tuesday, 22 January 2013 - 4:42 pm

    YB LKS and Irene,

    I am so thankful this thread and explanation has appeared. When I first read the account posted in MalaysiaToday, I think, my heart sank and, for a moment, knowing that men and political parties are imperfect creations, I ‘believed’ in the propaganda. I truly felt deeply for Ho Leng for his dedication, sacrifices and unstinted efforts to champion the true cause of a libersted Malaysian Malaysia – and you, too, Irene, and the children, for all your sacrifices.

    Now all’s well, that ends well; but, not so fast. I know there is still much to be done till Ho Leng is back to his raging self and campaigning in the next GE. Someone would have to stand in his place whilst he recuperates. Would you, Irene, be like Wan Azizah, and stand in his place whilst he takes time to heal?

    If DAP HQ would like to set up a fund for “sick and handicapped DAP MPs and ADUNs”, please be assured of my support.

    Over lunch, I suggested to an insurance consultant, in fact, to approach DAP with a proposal to insure all MPs and ADUNs.

    YB LKS, any takers?

    • #7 by Kit on Tuesday, 22 January 2013 - 9:53 pm

      Thank you EH. Any concrete proposal is most welcome. – kit

  7. #8 by changhy on Tuesday, 22 January 2013 - 6:48 pm

    It is ingrained in the MSN’s DNA to spin and tell lies because they are beholden to their political masters. I have stopped buying and reading them. BOYCOTT the newspapers.

  8. #9 by chengho on Tuesday, 22 January 2013 - 8:37 pm

    facebook eh , Irene so smart

  9. #10 by tuahpekkong on Tuesday, 22 January 2013 - 11:46 pm

    I find that many UMNO controlled newspapers are rather distasteful and have shunned reading them for years. They would deliberately publish unfounded news about the opposition but gloss over numerous scandals involving BN leaders. The worst among them is undoubtedly Utusan Malaysia. It is little wonder that all UMNO controlled papers have suffered a drastic drop in readership over the years.

  10. #11 by john on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 - 4:19 pm

    What EH #6 commented was indeed true. If not for the availability of internet blogs,etc as alternative mean of news provider, more crucially for verification/clarification espicially in view of present MSM ever-spinning norm, NST etc. would got away with it or to impart ill feelings.
    PR have to be able to counter such SPINS,LIES,HOODWINKS,FALSEHOOD, etc,,, with immediate notice and effect as G13 draws nearer.

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