It must be a new phenomenon in the world of Malaysian journalism – New Straits Times admitting that it has transformed itself from a “news-paper” into a “lies-paper”, without any compunction or sense of journalistic responsibility by claiming that it was only reporting on the “lies” by others in its pages and columns.
It is significant that the New Straits Times response to my speech at the Johor DAP State Leaders Retreat at Kukup, Johor on Saturday about UMNO/BN mainstream media unabashedly transforming themselves from newspapers to “lies-papers” made no attempt to deny that they were publishing “lies” instead of news, except to claim that they were publishing the “lies” spread by others.
Will the New Straits Times similarly oblige DAP and Pakatan Harapan leaders and print whatever “lies” concocted by them about the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, UMNO and Barisan Nasional in the NST pages and columns?
Of course not and this will be the correct decision for journalists must be guided by the canons of journalism, the most fundamental of which is that a newspaper should not degenerate into a “lies-paper”!
I had warned that the 14th General elections is going to be dirtiest in the nation’s history – dirtier than the 13th GE – as UMNO/BN owned or controlled mainstream media have already transformed themselves from newspapers into “lies-papers” against DAP and Pakatan Harapan leaders.
In the past four months, UMNO/BN mainstream media like Utusan Malaysia, New Straits Times, Berita Harian and Star have become “lies-papers” as part of the UMNO/BN campaign to demonise Pakatan Harapan leaders and myself, where I am described as a devil, puaka, even jembalang; that I am anti-Malay, anti-Islam; cause of May 13, 1969 riots; a communist; a stooge of foreign powers; that I dominate Pakatan Harapan and made other leaders like Tun Mahathir, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Datuk Seri Wan Azizah, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and Mohamad Sabu as my stooges and puppets – all sorts of possible evil under the Malaysian sun!
What has New Straits Times got to say about my analysis that the recent epidemic of lies, fake news and false stories about me is not because I have suddenly become No. 1 national security risk, or the greatest threat to UMNO/BN government, but simply because UMNO leaders and propagandists are in a panic mood as they have realised that there is a possibility that they have lost the support of the majority of Malay voters in the country.
This is the reason why UMNO/BN leaders, propagandists and cybertroopers have resorted to the primordial politics of lies, hate and fear to make me into a monster or ogre by creating hatred and fear among the Malay voters with the “scare story” that if UMNO is defeated in the next general election, the Malays will lose their political power and their rights to the Chinese and the DAP, hoping that the Malay electorate will not see through the UMNO bluff and political chicanery because of the following fallacies and falsehoods:
• DAP is not the “Big Bad Wolf” which will deprive the Malays of political power and their rights if UMNO is defeated in the 14th General Election, as Malay political power will not be in jeopardy because of the reality of demography in Malaysia, and the new Harapan Pakatan Prime Minister will be a Malay and not a non-Malay.
• Furthermore, far from undermining or depriving Malays of their rights in the country, a Pakatan Harapan coalition comprising DAP, PKR, AMANAH and Pribumi Bersatu, will demonstrate that it can deliver results to do better than the UMNO/BN government to protect and promote the rights and interests of Malays and of all communities in the country as Pakatan Harapan want to win, not just the 14th GE, but the 15th, 16th and future GEs as well.
• But the greatest lie and most irresponsible politics of fear and hate is to spread the falsehood that the DAP is a Chinese party which is anti-Malay and anti-Islam, when DAP had been a Malaysian party right from the beginning of our formation 51 years ago, comprising Malaysians regardless of race or religion, and fighting for the rights and interests of all Malaysians, again regardless of race or religion. This was why in 1998, a DAP leader, Lim Guan Eng (now DAP Secretary-General and Penang Chief Minister) had gone to jail and deprived of his position as Member of Parliament when he defended the honour and dignity of an under-aged Malay girl.
For 51 years, DAP and I had been an open book, which is why UMNO leaders and propagandists could not find a single evidence that DAP and I had been anti-Malay and anti-Islam – the reason for the ludicrous RM10,000 (upped to RM50,000 within 24 hours) prize for the best essay or social media posting that I am anti-Malay and anti-Islam!
As the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has recently been deploring the politics of lies, fake news and false information, will New Straits Times set the example by stop being a “lies-paper” and return to its journalistic and time-honoured role as a “newspaper”?