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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

It’s just perception, Wee says of ‘terrorist’ front page

MCA number 2 says outrage over The Star's front page could be likened to non-Muslims drinking in front of Muslims during Ramadan - it's not wrong but just not sensitive.
Wee-Ka-SiongPUTRAJAYA: News publications have to be more sensitive in the presentation of their contents, because sometimes it is all about the public’s perception, said MCA deputy president Wee Ka Siong.

Commenting on The Star’s Saturday front page layout – featuring a headline story on Muslim terrorists as well as a photo of the Tarawih prayers for the first day of Ramadan – which had landed the editorial team in hot water, Wee said while the MCA-owned daily had no intention to portray Malaysian Muslims as terrorists, the public may think differently.
“That may be the perception given, because of the headline, and the photo for which the wording (caption) was too small.
“Other papers had contents that are about the same, but they may have used different words, or laid out the page differently.
“Sometimes it’s perception. We have to be more sensitive to other people also,” he told a press conference here today.
When asked if the public outrage over the English daily, which had apologised for its “error of judgement”, was a sign of growing religious extremism, Wee said there are many ways of looking at it.
He explained that while there are those who only saw the “Malaysian Terrorist Leader” headline and the photo of Muslims performing Tarawih prayers below it, there are also the more observant ones who saw the caption below the said photo.
“So we can’t make a general statement (on religious extremism). But we have to be sensitive to one another.”
He then likened the situation to non-Muslims drinking water in front of the Muslims during the fasting period.
“It’s not wrong, but we should be sensitive to those around us.”
The home ministry had on Monday issued a show-cause letter, giving The Star seven days to explain why it should not have its publication license suspended, according to provisions under the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA).
Yesterday, The Star also suspended two senior editors indefinitely as the investigation into the incident is ongoing.
To this, Wee said that his party respected the decisions made by the ministry as well as The Star’s management and board of directors. -FMT

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