Disgust at The Star’s election coverage

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Frustrated with the lopsided coverage of the general election campaign, a reader of The Star, Sudhagaran Stanley, vents his anger in a letter to the publishers of the self-proclaimed ‘The People’s Paper’.


Dear
Publisher,

I
am writing this letter with much regret and disappointment over The
Star’s news publication and strongly condemn and object to all your
articles about the General Election, over the past few days.

It
is very clear that your articles on the coming general election give
one-sided views supporting the Barisan Nasional Government. I view
this as something unhealthy and a threat to the future of a free
media.

You
use the caption “Malaysia Decides 2008” for your general election
reports. How does the electorate decide, when you don’t even report
on the opposition parties. Lim Kit Siang, Anwar Ibrahim and other
opposition leaders gave many ceramahs in Penang, but I don’t
see any details or article about those events.

The
reports I have seen about any Opposition party, are negative ones
about that party. What kind of practise is this in a democratic
country?

We,
the rakyat and readers of The Star, expect and demand
equal coverage of and news about all parties in the general election.

Yes,
it’s good to tell the nation what the Barisan has done for the
people and the development it has brought to this country. At the
same time, it is also important to hear the Opposition’s views and
vision for the country. Whether they are giving empty promises or
lying, it is for the rakyat to decide. Not for the government
or for your publication to decide or come to a conclusion.

In
your publication on 28 February 2008 on page N 11, there is an
advertisement for the MIC. What kind of advertisement is that? Is the
MIC trying to instil fear in the nation and get votes by threatening
us?

It
says IF YOU DON’T VOTE FOR MIC THEN BE PREPARED TO PAY THE
PRICE.
What does the MIC mean
by that?

That
statement is already in breach of election campaign rules, which
prohibits nominees from threatening voters.

I
also see only Barisan Nasional advertisements in The Star.
Arent there any other parties contesting in this coming general
election? Every single day, I see so many full page BN
advertisements. Haven’t they exceeded the campaign budget limit
approved by the Election Commission for all parties yet?

I
know it costs many thousands of ringgit for a single-page
advertisement in The Star. Or is The Star sponsoring
the pages for the BN? If yes, then why is The Star not also
sponsoring the DAP, Keadilan and Pas? There are as many readers who
support the Opposition as there are who support the BN.

This
is such an insult to all readers of The Star. We give you
business and you pay us back in this way?

When
reporting news that refers to Abdullah Badawi and Najib Razak, your
publication refers to them as the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime
Minister of Malaysia. Have your editors forgotten that Parliament has
been dissolved? What right do you have then to officially call both
these persons current ministers of Malaysia. Aren’t you giving
false information to the public?

This
letter is a demand to the Star Publication to give equal coverage to
all parties contesting the General Election. It is also a call to the
Election Commission chairman

and to all the media to ensure there is
equal
and fair coverage of all parties.

If
your company still publishes one-sided reports after reading this
letter, I am going to launch a boycott of The Star newspaper
and urge Penang people not to buy your paper. I will go all out to
use my influence and contacts to make sure people do not buy The
Star
.

There
are alternatives to your newspaper. Why spend more to buy news that
is unfair and unequal? I hope this will be a start for change in the
way your reports are published. Let the nation decide; don’t fool
your readers.

 

READ MORE:  Covid-19 not an excuse to restrict media coverage of Parliament

Yours
faithfully,

Sudhagaran
Stanley

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