The NST,Utusan Malaysia,The Star, Berita Harian, and other Government Controlled Media and Fitnah2

February 4, 2010

To Government Controlled Media : Stop Playing Politics in reporting Fitnah2

by John Liu

While the trial of Anwar Ibrahim on the charge of sodomy has drawn international concerns about whether he will be given a fair trial, the government-controlled media has today begun their ‘trial by media’ in the same way they did over ‘Sodomy I’. They have given headline prominence to the accuser’s allegations in an attempt to besmirch Anwar’s reputation and integrity.

In a repeat of the trial of Anwar 12 years ago on charges of corruption and sodomy, the latest trial bears the characteristic political persecution of the leader of the opposition who has since the general elections of 2008, posed the biggest challenge to the ruling regime since independence.

The way the trial has progressed clearly shows that Anwar has been denied a fair trial. Even before the trial began, the prosecution has refused to deliver evidence to the defence which is fundamental to ensuring a fair trial. Consequently, Suaram does not believe that the current trial of Anwar will be in any manner fair and just.

The focus of the government-controlled media in playing up the testimony of Mohd Saiful Bukhary at the High Court yesterday is clearly an attempt to discredit and cast doubts on the minds of the public over the morals of the former deputy prime minister.

While issues surrounding the question of a fair trial have drawn national and international concerns, another serious human rights violation surrounding the criminal charge on Anwar is the use of the archaic sodomy law of the country against him.

All over the world, including countries in Asia, antiquated laws on sodomy are being abolished. On July 2 ,2009, the Delhi High Court delivered a historic judgement to amend a 149-year-old colonial-era law and forthwith decriminalised private consensual sex between adults of the same sex. India became the 127th country to decriminalise homosexuality.

It is a shame that a country like Malaysia which has in the past chaired the UN Commission on Human Rights and has been a recent member of the UN Human Rights Council, not only continues to maintain such archaic laws criminalising homosexuality but also uses it in a politically-motivated trial to discredit and neutralise a political challenger.

The Barisan Nasional government’s continued pursuance of the political trial of Anwar Ibrahim and the farcical manner in which the trial progresses will doubtless discredit Malaysia in the eyes of the international community.

Suaram strongly urges the government to drop its charges on Anwar and further calls for the abolition of our outdated sodomy laws. Suaram further calls on the Malaysian media to be responsible in reporting the trial and not make this a parallel ‘trial by media’.

The writer acts on behalf of Suaram.

16 thoughts on “The NST,Utusan Malaysia,The Star, Berita Harian, and other Government Controlled Media and Fitnah2

  1. John Liu is like a little puppy barking at the moon.

    The mainstream media editors such as Rocky Bru of Malay Mail don’t give a shit about professional journalism.

    John Liu is silly… Does he know who owns NST, Star, Malay Mail and Berita Harian. He forgot to add RTM.

    John Liu is wasting everybody’s time reading his article.

  2. Frank,

    Give the man a chance to express an opinion. RockyBru was recently awarded a Datoship for playing the pro-UMNO game well. Of course, John knows only too well that UMNO and MCA control the mainstream papers and the Government directs RTM and other networks to do its bidding.

    I like John’s view on Fitnah2, although you are free to disagree.–Din Merican

  3. ask the star man.

    on weekend, he stand behind the pulpit and spew honesty and truth.

    on week days, he does his work for UMNO.

    hypocrisy defined. but then, he has his good life in the name of his maker. darn.

  4. Din

    I agree fully with John Liu’s views. But it is a point of view which everybody who has lived long enough reading MSM with their breakfast, knows it is of little consequence to the outcome.

    An article I would classify as “a feel-good self-therapy piece”. We feel good after reading it and John Liu feels good after writing it. Except that he is appealing for a situation that will NEVER happen.

    The article seems to make like John Liu had just came back from overseas yesterday and realise how bad our MSM is reporting on Anwar’s trial.

    Suaram as a lobby group has been toothless to be of any consequence to our socio-political landscape.

  5. I don’t think Malaysia is heading towards this! Still I don’t believe under Pakatan there will be any amendment to the country’s Penal Code.

    What is happening to Anwar Ibrahim today is not about sodomy. It is all about persecution. Sodomy law is here to stay. Archaic or not. It is about shariah law. If you were to make sodomy a crime only to Muslims and Malays, it would be discriminatory and therefore unconstitutional.

  6. And who are behind harakah, malaysiakini, Malaysia insider, Malaysia today, suara keadilan etc etc. Fair reporting towards BN? Why should they? And why are we complaining?

  7. “What is happening to Anwar Ibrahim today is not about sodomy. It is all about persecution. Sodomy law is here to stay”-Mr. Bean

    What you are saying is that the motive is persecution. Sodomy is used as an excuse for that.

    That is the reason why Anwar will always make a press statement outside the court and I believe he has the permission of his counsels to do that.

    His lawyers will argue the sodomy case in the court of law and Anwar will argue the persecution case in the court of pubic opiinion.

    As far as Anwar and his team are concerned, the game plan is to win in the court of public opinion since the genesis of the case is political more than anything else, least of all, legal.

    The worst case scenario intended is a lose-win situation. Anwar may go to jail but Pakatan wins the general election.

  8. And why are we complaining?- Carlos

    Carlos, don’t tell me you are so dumb to not able to distinguish (a) between what is posted on Malaysiakini and in the MSM the (b) between Malaysia-Today and MSM. and (c) between news and editorials.

    Next question is why are the political parties ruling this Govt have the monopoly of the mainstream print and broadcast media o and why liicencing is used to curb a free media in the country by this UMNO-led govt..

    Go and spend more time to try and understand the state of journalism in the country before asking such silly questions here.

  9. ” That is the reason why Anwar will always make a press statement outside the court and I believe he has the permission of his counsels to do that.” Frank

    Yes, so long as he dwells on the political aspects of the case taking extreme care not to comment on the court case (or else he’ll find himself in contempt) or worse. He may end up making self- incriminatory statements which could be used in court against him, or inconsistent statements which would be a great help to the prosecution in the impeachment process.

  10. I think Najib should make this week “A Sodomy Week” and declare a public holiday. Besides printing the new ringgit note with “In Allah we trust” (here in the U.S. we have “In God we trust”) Najib should also consider making this song a national song.

  11. Further to Frank’s retort to Carlos’s posting, the news organs and websites cited are largely political party or individual persons owned. The MSM on the other hand are for sale to the public at large and owned by companies controlled by UMNO, MCA and the likes with propaganda spewing and profit as the main plank. People will not complain (as Carlos says they should not) as much if the Party organs of UMNO, MCA, MIC and other BN Parties go berserk to run down their arch critics and Anwar. This may be acceptable because it has a self-serving political context.

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