Here’s a classic case of Malaysian authorities shooting the messenger.
The Squatgate scandal of alleged police abuse was first revealed by Malaysian Chinese language newspaper, China Press. Why is the government then jumping on China Press when so many newspapers published the same news?
Because the newspaper had the blooming cheek to reveal the incident as one having a Chinese national as a victim, and due to the incorrectly claimed nationality, that case had caused Malaysia enormous international embarrassment.
What a load of nonsense, because the top people in the government (UMNO ministers and police) had already known she wasn’t a Chinese national, but chose not to reveal that fact for their own political agenda. If anyone really has to be blamed, they were the culprits who had allowed the disgraceful episode to develop into an international scandal.
And incidentally, it became an international scandal not so much because there was a perception the Squatgate victim was Chinese but more because there were several other foreign victims of alleged abuses by Malaysian police, including a Japanese student being extorted by Malaysian cops!
But now, with that embrassment of deliberately holding back information that could have saved Minister Azmi a trip to China, the responsible UMNO ministers need to plunge the symbolic keris (Malay dagger) into someone, so that the ensuing symbolic ‘blood’ may mask the real issue. China Press wins the dubious honour of being the sacrificial goat, or rather, red herring.
And why was China Press so deserving when other papers reported the same issue with the same suggestion of ethnicity? Because the Internal Security Ministry believes China Press has stepped beyond acceptable limits more often than other newspapers. Well, someone has to play the role of a goat or fish!
The Internal Security Ministry has issued a show-cause letter to the publisher of China Press. If the publisher can’t provide a satisfactory answer, the newspaper could see its licence to publish its night edition suspended for a period. Needless to say, when that comes about, the punitive measure will enjoy widespread publicity to show the constituencies the firm, resolute and protective hands of you-know-who!
Note that it’s a newspaper that gets the chop for Squatgate, not the police, the IGP or deputy IGP, or the ministers for the shameful incident including the deliberate concealment of the victim's identity for whatever political reasons - Opposition leader Lim Kit Siang averred that it was to favour the UMNO candidate in the recent Pengakalan Pasir by-election.