Friday, September 17, 2010

Utusan's racist spin in Sosilawati murder condemned


KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 17: There seems to be no end to politicising any issue in Malaysia. In the case of the savage murder of businesswoman Sosilawati Lawiya and three others, Malay daily Utusan Malaysia continues this trend by linking politics to the case which shocked the nation.

The Perkasa and UMNO mouthpiece is said to have carried a statement by a defecting Parti Keadilan Rakyat deputy youth chief Mohd Zahid Md Arip who questioned what he termed as DAP’s "silence and hypocrisy" over Sosilawati’s murder, a now-familiar charge among pro-UMNO bloggers.

“Is the silence related to claim that the main suspect (in the murder case) is a lifelong member of the party?

"If the claim is true, it clearly shows that DAP is a hypocrite party that only fights for certain race,” he was quoted as questioning.

His suggestion was however in stark contrast to what deputy minister in the Prime Minister's Department T. Murugiah’s had claimed earlier, that the main murder suspect had expressed his intention to join MIC.

Murugiah had also claimed that he met the suspect during a Hari Raya community programme in Bukit Cheeding, three days before he was arrested.

DAP to sue

DAP secretary-general is clearly not amused by Utusan's latest attack on it.

“Murugiah said he wanted to join MIC, yet Utusan spins to say he is a DAP life member. Utusan has politicised the issue," twitted Lim Guan Eng, adding that the party would be taking the paper to court for libel.

Describing the paper's reporting as evil and malicious, Lim said it should just be renamed to Utusan Shin Bet and Mossad, referring to the notorious Israeli secret service agencies.

In another posting, Lim said the DAP did not attempt to exploit Murugiah's revelation that the suspect had wanted to join MIC.

Coupled with allegations on the internet mostly by pro-UMNO bloggers, Utusan's reporting on the murder case has thrived on sensationalism, and recently bordered on racism due to the different races involved in the high-profile case.

Following this, the police chief has been forced to issue a statement, telling the public that the case had nothing to do race.

The racial polemics surrounding the case also prompted Selangor's Seri Setia assemblyman to condemn "irresponsible journalism" by the media involved, especially those known as 'mainstream'.

“What kind of humans are us?” twitted Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad. “The scary thing is this was not spun by unknown blogs and stupid tabloids, but the mainstream media."

No comments: