The Open Email, which was emailed to all MCA Central Committee members
via the MCA website, www.mca.org.my, suggested that if the MCA leadership
is really keen to own a Chinese newspaper, the MCA should use the
RM230 million required for the takeover of Nanyang Press Holdings Bhd to
a KDN to establish a new Chinese newspaper.
This would be a win-win solution, as the traditional independence and professionalism of Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press and their journalists would be respected while the establishment of a new Chinese newspaper by the MCA would create more job opportunities for journalists although it still raised the question of the journalistic independence and professionalism of the new publication.
The assurance repeated by the MCA President, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik to the delegation from the Federation of Chinese Associations (FCA) yesterday that the MCA takeover of the two Chinese national dailies was purely a business acquisition is empty and meaningless especially when he said that the MCA would not interfere with the running of the two Chinese newspapers and that Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press would be as "independent" as the Star.
It is clear that Liong Sik simply does not understand the basic aspirations and legitimate concerns of the Chinese community in Malaysia, as no MCA leader who has the full pulse of the Chinese community would ever believe that an assurance that Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press after MCA takeover would be as "independent" as the Star is adequate assurance to preserve their traditional journalistic independence and professionalism, and even more important, in defending the legitimate rights and interests of the Malaysian Chinese community.
The last thing the Chinese community wants is to see Nanyang Siang Pau
and China Press, or any other Chinese newspaper for that matter, degenerate
into a Chinese version of Star - which will loyally serve the interests
of the Ling Liong Sik faction of MCA in utter disregard of the legitimate
rights and concerns of the Chinese community as illustrated by the following
As Liong Sik simply does not understand that the Star is not the model Chinese newspaper but anathema for the Chinese community, there must be MCA Central Committee members who must be brave enough to make the MCA President understand this fundamental question about the Chinese community's objection to the MCA takeover of Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press.
It is not just that the Chinese in particular and Malaysians in general do not believe in Liong Sik's assurance that there would be no political interference with Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press, MCA leaders and members also do not believe it.
In fact, the first casualties of the MCA takeover of Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press will be MCA leaders, members and branches who do not belong to the Liong Sik faction - and if the MCA leadership could misuse and abuse the MCA acquisition of the two Chinese dailies to "kill off" dissent in the MCA, what wouldn't it do to silence the voice of the political opposition or dissenting Chinese civil society which undermine MCA's power base?
I hope there are enough MCA Central Committee members who are prepared
to put the interests of the Chinese community and in particular Chinese
education and the interests of the Malaysian nation and democracy to promote
a free, independent and responsible press above the interests of the Liong
Sik faction in MCA and stop the MCA acquisition of Nanyang Siang Pau and
China Press today.