“Ling Liong Sik may claim that The Star is run by a ‘professional board with very good reporters etc.’ but the way The Star is covering the current controversy over MCA's takeover of two Chinese dailies is telling.
“The Star is completely silent over Chinese opposition to the deal. It failed to report that 40 writers and columnists have vowed not to write for Nanyang and China Press as well as the fact that 14 Chinese NGOs have opposed the deal. It also did not report the fact that the MCA rank and file oppose the deal.
“Readers can thus judge for themselves just how ‘professional’ The Star is and on MCA's supposed non-interference policy which is just a load of bull.
“I believe DAP speeches should make this important point to help counter the takeover.”
I thank the Malaysian who sent the email as he had made a most valid rebuttal to Liong Sik’s spurious claim of the independence and professionalism of Star. It is sad to see the good professional journalists in Star not allowed to be fully professional in their journalistic field, which was why they spearheaded the campaign for a free, independent and responsible press two years ago in commemoration of the 1999 World Press Freedom Day.
The staff of Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press must be commended for their collective public stand yesterday opposing the MCA takeover of the two Chinese newspapers by the MCA's investment arm Huaren Holdings.
DAP calls for a nation-wide campaign to oppose the MCA take-over of Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press, and even if the two Chinese newspapers are acquired by “lightning speed”, the campaign must continue to grow and gather strengthen to compel MCA to spit out what it had swallowed, as the MCA takeover must be regarded as unacceptable and intolerable threats to the legitimate rights and interests of the Chinese community and to democracy, freedom of expression and a free press in the larger Malaysian milieu.
The formation of the Committee Against Takeover of Nanyang Press by MCA (CAT) is a step in the right direction and I hope that there will be Cabinet Ministers who will support the Yellow Ribbon campaign by wearing the yellow ribbon to the Cabinet meeting tomorrow to express their solidarity with Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press employees.
As the issues involved concerned not just the livelihood of the staff
of the two Chinese newspapers, the legitimate rights and interests of the
Chinese community, Chinese press freedom, but also larger press freedom
as a whole, human rights and democracy for all Malaysians, the time has
come for the establishment of a grand coalition comprising two broad fronts
to oppose the MCA takeover of Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press, namely:
DAP will also work with MCA leaders, branches and members who are prepared to put Chinese community and national interests above the MCA interests, and in particular the Liong Sik MCA faction interests, to oppose the MCA takeover.
As the MCA Central Committee meeting on Wednesday, 30th May, 2001 at 4 p.m. is a critical one to decide on whether MCA should proceed to takeover Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press, all MCA states, divisions and branches who stand for press freedom, human rights and democracy and the preservation of adequate space for the pursuit of legitimate Chinese community and Chinese education interests should hold emergency meetings to adopt urgent resolutions and send urgent cables, faxes and emails to the MCA Central Committee to convey their opposition to any MCA takeover of the two Chinese newspapers.
In fact, righteous MCA members from all over the country should descend on the MCA headquarters on Wednesday to express their opposition to the MCA takeover of Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press.
As the MCA takeover of Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press is no more a strictly MCA party affair, but affect the rights, interests and future of the Chinese community, and in particular Chinese education, and human rights and democracy in Malaysia, all concerned Malaysians have the right to gather at the MCA headquarters on Wednesday to also express their opposition to the MCA takeover of the two Chinese newspapers.