(Penang, Tuesday): Although MCA President, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik had promised that there would be no political interference in the editorial management of Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press after the MCA takeover, it has been met with universal cynicism and disbelief.
It is not just the DAP, the Barisan Alternative, the Chinese community and the Chinese NGOs who have no faith in Ling’s assurance, even MCA leaders like the MCA Deputy President, Datuk Seri Lim Ah Lek, the MCA Vice Presidents Datuk Chua Jui Meng and Datuk Chan Kong Choy and the MCA Youth leader Datuk Ong Tee Kiat and large numbers of MCA branches and members who do not believe in Ling’s assurance.
Even MCA’s partner in the Barisan Nasional, the Gerakan, has no qualms in publicly expressing its lack of confidence in Ling’s assurance.
Gerakan President, Datuk Seri Dr. Lim Keng Yaik was very categorical and definitive when said in Kuala Lumpur this morning that Ling’s assurance “cannot be believed” as Gerakan had been the “victim” of the attitude of the MCA-owned The Star on the coverage of Gerakan leaders and Ministers in the past ten years.
If the anti-Ling faction in MCA are sure that the MCA-owned Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press would “black out” their news, and Gerakan had tasted the fruits of the unfair and biased coverage by The Star for the past ten years, the DAP has no doubt whatsoever that a MCA-owned Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press would be unfair manifold to the DAP than the already very one-sided treatment of DAP news by The Star.
The MCA takeover of Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press must be opposed
to avoid three catastrophes:
For this reason, I call on the MCA leaders, branches and members who still respect and value the sensitivities and wishes of the Chinese community as well as the higher aspirations of a free press, human rights and democracy in Malaysia to take a strong united stand to repudiate the MCA takeover of Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press to protect the livelihood of over 1,000 workers of the two newspapers.
If MCA leadership led by Ling is not prepared to relinquish MCA ownership of the Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press, then a nation-wide campaign must be mounted to demand that the MCA “spit out what it has swallowed” to return the two Chinese newspapers to non-political party ownership - or the MCA must be made to pay a very high political price in the next general election whether in 2004 or before for bringing the triple catastrophes to the Chinese community, Malaysian democracy and the livelihood of over 1,000 workers in the two newspapers.