The mysteries of Malaysian journalism: The Star and theSun have produced separate reports written by their respective journalists about the grilling of Samy Vellu in India. But the reports look similar. How can that be? Even the sequence appears to be the same.
Here is The Star report:
Indian media ‘grills’ Samy Vellu
By A. LETCHUMANAN
NEW DELHI: MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu was “grilled”
by the Indian media over allegations that Malaysian Indians were
While he was speaking to the Malaysian media, the local press as well
as foreign media butted in and raised questions on the Nov 25 illegal
rally by Hindraf and issues such as discrimination and marginalisation
Samy Vellu, who is also the Works Minister, patiently replied to the questions for more than 30 minutes.
Later, speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Pravasi Bharatiya
Divas 2008, he said there was no demonstration or violence in the
country as claimed by certain quarters.
“It was a gathering by a group calling itself Hindraf. It is not a registered body or a union,” he said.
He said the organiser of Hindraf was not in the country while the others were detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA).
Samy Vellu reiterated that the Government under the leadership of Prime
Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had looked after the
interests of the Indian community.
The MIC, he said, had submitted several memoranda to the Government on the issues even before the Hindraf rally.
“We don’t go to the streets to demonstrate. They (Hindraf) submitted a
one-page memorandum, alleging that the Indians were marginalised,
without giving any specifics,” he said.
Samy Vellu said the Government had set up a committee headed by Deputy
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to look into the problems of
“They (the Government) are giving more opportunities for Indians in
civil sector employment, more funding for small businesses and other
sectors,” he said.
He also said a demonstration by 10,000 people did not mean the country faced an unrest.
“Unrest means the whole community getting together and causing
problems. This is not happening there,” he said, adding that the
majority of the Indians were peace-loving and supported the Government.
MIC also distributed copies of a booklet entitled Malaysian Indians —
Then & Now, outlining the history and development of the community
in the last 140 years to the 1,500 delegates of the conference as well
as the Indian media.
The colourful 20-page booklet also contains the Indian community’s
representation in the government and civil service, education, Tamil
schools, tertiary education and religion.
Now compare that with theSun’s report:
Samy cool under fire
B. Suresh Ram
NEW DELHI (Jan 8, 2008):
MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu was today grilled for about 30
minutes by the Indian media over recent reports alleging the
marginalisation of Malaysian Indians, but the veteran politician kept
He was bombarded with questions on the allegations
made by the Hindu RIghts Action Force (Hindraf), which organised the
Nov 25 rally in Kuala Lumpur, the validity of such allegations and how
the government was handling the matter.
Other questions were on temple demolition and the Nov
25 demonstration which led to a number of arrests, including several
under the Internal Security Act.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Pravasi
Bhartiya Divas 2008, a conference and meeting involving the Indian
diaspora across the globe, Samy Vellu took pains to entertain the
questions and to explain the actual situation in the country, as well
as what the party and the government were doing to address these
He explained that the Indian community in Malaysia
has come a long way since the country achieved independence and the
allegations of Hindraf, which is an illegal organisation, are not true.
Throughout the interview session, he never lost his cool.
Samy Vellu, who is leading a delegation of 75 members
including 15 members of the media, said the government had created many
opportunities for Malaysian Indians over the years.
“The government is seriously looking into it. The claim that they are being marginalised is being looked into,” he said.
Samy Vellu said he had submitted a working paper to the Cabinet on this matter, especially covering employment and education.
“We have submitted several working papers. We don’t go to the street to demonstrate,” he said.
He also said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad
Badawi had assured the community that their grievances would be
He also denied that the country faced unrest over the alleged marginalisation of the Indian community.
“A simple demonstration of 10,000 people does not
mean unrest. Unrest means the whole community gets together and causes
The MIC is also distributing copies of a booklet
titled "Malaysian Indians – Then & Now" outlining the history and
development of the community in the last 140 years to the 1,500
delegates of the conference as well as the Indian media.
The 20-page booklet also contains the Indian
community’s representation in the government and civil service,
education, Tamil schools, tertiary education skills and industrial
training, religion, economy as well the percentage of Malaysian Indians
among registered professionals and the country’s work force.
Compare especially the sentences in bold. Bear in mind that the "grilling" lasted 30 minutes. Now how did two different journalists, writing for two different papers, come up with almost similar accounts and concluding sentences for their reports from New Delhi?