Utusan Malaysia is not equal to Islam. | Malaysian Sentinel : Malaysia's Politics from a Malaysian Citizen Blogger

Monday, October 13, 2008

Utusan Malaysia is not equal to Islam.

Teresa Kok is suing Utusan Malaysia to the tune of RM30 million. It is a legal process when one feels that one's reputation has been tarnished by what has been written in a newspaper which commands a large readership. The newspaper can chose to defend itself or admit its mistake. In this case. Utusan Malaysia is putting up a fight and it's got backing from UMNO. Nothing wrong in that because UMNO is the owner of Utusan Malaysia (not directly) and has huge influence on the news reported in the said newspaper.

Today, it was reported in Utusan Malaysia that they (Utusan Malaysia and UMNO - Cheras Division) have set up a Tabung Azan to collect funds to help local mosques to acquire audio systems to facilitate the call to prayers. Nothing wrong in that because it is an initiative for the betterment of society. What doesn't make sense is the statement that it is also to help Utusan Malaysia counter Teresa Kok lawsuit because "the act of suing Utusan Malaysia is similar to an act of suing Islam."

Don't believe me? Read the front page of today's Utusan Malaysia.

Selain itu, tabung tersebut turut mendapat sumbangan sebanyak RM12,000 daripada individu-individu yang menjadikan keseluruhannya berjumlah RM32,000.

Jelasnya, setiap bahagian UMNO diminta memberi bantuan kepada tabung itu.

‘‘Ini pendekatan yang dibuat untuk membantu akhbar orang Melayu. Semua pihak seharusnya tidak mempertikaikan, malah menghormati perbezaan agama masing-masing.

‘‘Kita terpanggil apabila timbul isu ini. Tindakan Teresa yang mengambil tindakan kepada Utusan Malaysia sama seperti dia menyaman agama Islam,” ujarnya.

Source: Utusan Malaysia Online.

The Star reported on the same matter but they seemed to have watered down the said statement:

Kicking off the fund with a RM20,000 contribution, division head Datuk Syed Ali Al Habshee said the Tabung Azan would also be used to assist mosques and suraus that needed money to buy loudspeakers for the purpose of the azan (call to prayer).

“Teresa has challenged the honour of Malays by suing Utusan Malaysia as it is a newspaper owned by the Malays.

“Challenging the Malays is similar to challenging Umno,” he said in urging other divisions to contribute to the fund.

Source: The Star

So is Utusan Malaysia equal with Islam? If so, then does this mean any newspaper which is Malay owned is above the laws of the land? So a citizen who has been victimized by the writers of Utusan Malaysia has no means whatsoever to counter Utusan Malaysia.

It must be noted that Teresa Kok has denied her involvement in the allegations by Utusan Malaysia and the surau in question has also issued a statement which backs her up. So why does Utusan Malaysia and UMNO continue to pursue this matter? Why has this matter been turned into a Teresa against the whole Malay community when initially it was the (false) reporting by Utusan Malaysia that stated it?

It is clearly an attempt at inciting anger among the populace and one which is glaring. So where are the police in this? Why hasn't the writer of the article Azan, Jawi, Jais, UiTM dan ba-alif-ba-ya, Mohd. Zaini Hassan, not been called in for questioning or better still put under ISA for reporting on a sensitive issue? Remember, the ISA was used against a reporter from Sin Chew last month. What difference does it make here?

Utusan Malaysia is not equal to Islam. Statements such as above, spoken at the UMNO Cheras division meeting and reported in Utusan Malaysia, does not help heal racial hurts. Instead, it continues to propagate the "Us and Them" mentality which stands to further fragment Malaysian society. Utusan Malaysia should be sensitive (themselves) to the feelings of Malaysians, plus division head himself should show more respect when making remarks during his speech.

The right to take to a fair trial in a court of law is for every citizen and should not be turned into a political banner by UMNO to garner the Malay vote. If the report is true, then let the court of law decide, if not then grant Teresa Kok what she demands and let it serve a lesson to Utusan Malaysia.

A lot has been said about bloggers spreading lies and half-truths but here we see a clear case of Utusan Malaysia not practicing Reponsible Reporting.


Short Talker said...

Rakyat 1 - O Utusan.

Now they will be more careful to shoot their guns towards opposition.

Kudos to Mahfuz and his lawyers.

Short Talk

Design by Dzelque Blogger Templates 2008

Design by Dzelque Blogger Templates 2008