Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Don't misuse powers - Back off from Jeff Ooi

A Malaysiakini reader Usman writing from Leicester questioned the police report alleging that blogger Jeff Ooi had been inciting racial disharmony. He was obviously directing his comments at the NST, because his letter was on affairs surrounding the newspaper, known in Malaysia as the government mouthpiece.

Usman said he was sympathetic towards the NST who had printed the Non Sequitur cartoons. I wonder whether Usman has been aware that the NST was so arrogant as to publish the cartoons not once but TWICE.

We would have thought that when there’s a hoo-haa about the publishing of a questionable cartoon, the newspaper would have stopped to evaluate whether it had been a mistake or not. But oh no, it daringly went ahead and publish the same cartoon AGAIN.

Thus you can’t blame people for saying that the NST, with the right connection, had already know it won’t be hauled up. So I wonder whether Usman’s sympathy was necessary. Semua (All) under control.

Usman reminded us that the NST editorial had said: "But there are also others, some more powerful, who have had their crosshairs sighted on the unyielding editors of the group. Because, simply, these editors have tried to be as professional as possible, to give their readers the news as objectively as possible. And when the truth gets reported, some get hurt. The powerful ones will seek to protect themselves with whatever means at their disposal"

So if they are so professional, Usman asked: “But at the same time, let us ponder the fundamental issue - do we continue to be a society where a vocal few, with personal vendettas and less than honourable motives, can whip up sentiments and make the innocent guilty? What are we saying of our own selves and our country if we allow people with personal motives to capitalise on religious and racial sensitivities to victimise others?”

He told someone in NST [and we all know who] that whatever vendetta that bloke has against blogger Jeff Ooi or vice versa, to bloody back off because the Malaysian public aren’t interested at all. Usman wants the editorial board of NST to demonstrated higher values than to indulge in puerile nonsense, like going all out to destroy someone's life.

Hear, hear, Usman, you said what most of us have in mind but weren't able to articulate so succinctly.

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