Re: Did I not tell you?

By Thomas Lee

I now understand and support Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng's decision to boycott the newspaper and stopped the state government's subscription of it.

It is simply beyond an intelligent person's comprehension how an editor could arrive at the conclusion that the protest against the high-handed methods of the MACC is a challenge to the Malays. Only an immature, insecure and not too intelligent person can look at the Teoh Beng Hock case from a racial perspective. OneMalaysia? Nonsense! If we have people in positions of power and influence with such racialist mentality, there can never be OneMalaysia.
I have just retired as a journalist after nearly 35 years in the profession, and during my years as a reporter, socio-political analyst and editor, I have identified five types of journalists in the media community.
First, there are the EEs — Editorial Eunuchs, who take orders from their political emperors and write and spin stories to promote the emperor's cause. These political appointees are usually in top and senior positions, not because they are good journalists or great writers, but because of their connection to powerful political godfathers. They are first class cronies. Many are ghost writers for their political masters. Some have become millionaires.
(Note: I thank God that, except for one or two cases, the editors I had worked under are not such people. I can vouch that people like Ng Poh Tip, Michael Aeria, Wong Sulong and Wong Chun Wai are good people of principle and top class journalists, not EEs. My good friend Chong Cheng Hai, the chief editor of The Sun, is another person of integrity.)
Secondly, there are the PPs — Press Prostitutes, who have sold their souls and principles to gain favours and privileges from their political and/or business clients. They will write what pleases their political masters. The amount of hampers and gifts they receive during festive seasons is perhaps a good indication of their rising status in their media organisation. (Perhaps the MACC should consider looking at this practice of giving editors hampers and gifts during festive seasons).
Thirdly, there are the MMs — Media Marionettes, the puppets who have no brains but are used and abused by opportunists to advance their own political or business agenda. They usually feed such journalists with twisted information and deceive these gullible writers to propogate their schemes of things. Our education system has produced many such gullible, unthinking, uncritical, and dumb people; and some of them are found in the media organisations.
Fourth, there are the JJs — Junket Journalists, those who will write anything for the sponsors of their overseas trips.
Finally, there are the WWs — Wise Writers, the rare breed who know how to survive through the controlled press situation and get their honest views into print without rousing the suspicion of their media bosses, who are usually political cronies. There are very few such honest writers with integrity and principles, and they are usually not in positions of power.
How can we expect to have OneMalaysia when we do not really have a free and credible press? If our Prime Minister is truly sincere in wanting to take the country to greater heights as OneMalaysia, then the first thing he needs to do is to liberate the press by abolishing the oppressive legal restraints such the Printing Presses and Publications Act, the Internal Security Act, the Official Secrets Act, etc. and enact a Freedom of Information Act. Then, he must revamp the whole system of administration to get rid of those known to be corrupt, racist, and incompetent. Most importantly, there must be reform in the judiciary, enforcement agencies, the election commission, and reinstate local council elections.
OneMalaysia? It will remain a slogan and a dream if the current federal government does not take concrete actions to reform the whole political and administrative environment in the country.
If the Barisan Nasional administration is unable to bring about such reforms, then we must throw it out at the next general election.