Utusan flayed over ‘salacious’ article on Yasmin Ahmad

(The Malaysian Insider) – KUALA LUMPUR:  An article in the Utusan Malaysia-owned Kosmo tabloid about the celebrated movie-maker Yasmin Ahmad, who died last Saturday from a stroke, has touched off a storm of protest from her friends in the media and advertising industry.

Friends of Yasmin are calling for a boycott of Utusan’s publications and that of Chinese daily Kwong Wah Jit Poh over what they say is “salacious gossip”,

Both newspapers published their reports on Sunday.

A letter has been drafted by former and current journalists protesting against Kosmo’s story. The letter is addressed to Utusan chairman Tan Sri Hashim Makaruddin and a copy is expected to be sent to the Home Minister.

“Yasmin’s family was grieving and at their most vulnerable. Yet your editor saw fit to run a story that showed utter disregard for the late Malaysian filmmaker, her family and the many Malaysians who still mourn her.

“The front-page copy… suggesting that Yasmin had duped everyone and had attempted to hide who she really was,” said the letter.

The Kosmo article headlined “Takdir Yasmin” was described in the letter as “despicable, vile and cruel.”

“Obviously, your editor has never encountered the loss of anyone dear, or a vicious attack on loved ones.

“Yes, you carried tributes both in this story and others. But all these failed to mask the real intention of your paper and its editor, which was to defame and destroy Yasmin’s good name with salacious gossip.

“If your only criterion is to sell newspapers, you achieved your goal. But if your objective is to practice ethical journalistic conduct and act with humanity, you have failed — miserably.”