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Friday, December 31, 2010

Utusan ogles while ministers rape and pillage


Serdang MP Teo Nie Ching was accused by ‘Utusan Malaysia’ of “causing problems again” because she was wearing “tight clothes” during an aerobics exercise event at the Taman Cheras Jaya mosque on 12 December.

If you ask me, I would say that she was over-dressed. If it had been me, I would have been there with shorts and lycra top. But that’s my preference. Long track suit bottoms or leggings would prevent proper evaporation of sweat.

As far as most Muslims are concerned, Teo has done nothing wrong. If she had, they would have thrown Teo out at the entrance to the mosque.

Utusan cannot possibly be claiming that the Serdang Muslims are too scared to admonish Teo on the spot, if they thought she was incorrectly attired, can it?

Perhaps this is typical of the extra-ordinary, new style of reporting by Utusan. It prefers to concentrate on Teo’s mode of clothing rather than comment on her exemplary participation in her constituency, which also involved members of the Malay/Muslim community.

Utusan seems to have a fixation on Teo. Is it because she is young and attractive and dares to engage with all members of her community rather than be the insular, introvert types that seem to make up the Utusan payroll?

In the west, Utusan would be branded as a “stalker” and would have been prosecuted for harassment.

The Utusan report also featured quotes from pro-Umno blog ‘Ruang Bicara Faisal’ (RBF) which accused Selangor PAS of practising double standards.

It cited PAS-ruled Kelantan's gender segregated payment counters at shopping centres, dinner tables and sporting events. The blogger added that the party turned a blind eye to what went on in mosque compounds in Selangor.

Perhaps RBF has not heard of the expression, ‘pot calling the kettle black’.

The last time I looked in the internet, the cyberwaves were choked with news of a senior Malaysian minister who had allegedly raped his Indonesian maid. This sort of breaking news is probably not worthy of column inches in Utusan.

RBF possibly defends the actions of a former Prime minister who covered up this heinous crime committed by his Cabinet Member; the damage to the reputation of Umno is not permissible. RBF thinks that one girl’s reputation, modesty and future, is only collateral damage.

If news of sex is too titillating, then how about the story of a certain politician who had been accused and charged with corruption being nominated as Chairman of FELDA, as of 1 January 2011?

FELDA is the world’s biggest plantation owner and it was started to provide the poor with an income and help lift them out of poverty. FELDA is flush (or should be) with money and what a novel way of misappropriating funds from under the very eyes of people who have little knowledge of fiscal policy, by putting a crook in their midst.

Whoever nominated this politician must have known “It takes a thief to know another thief”.

Only someone who has been charged with corruption would know how to siphon funds from FELDA. Perhaps he has been nominated for a reason – to share the proceeds later on, as the person who made the nomination is tied up with his other ‘job’. By extending this lifeline to the politician whose career is tainted he hopes perhaps, to be able to call in the favour at some point in the future.

It is a shame that both RBF and Utusan overlooked what might have been termed ‘news’ in Malaysia, and instead concentrated on Teo’s track suit bottoms and white top.

Tough competition has driven down standards in Utusan. The way it carries on means that it will soon become irrelevant to public debate and will be dropped by the public in solving genuine problems in Malaysian society.

Anyone thought about cancelling their daily Utusan newspaper yet?

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