Sop to the (S)-ex Minister

Posted on January 3, 2008

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many-colours-1.jpg

Man, Helen’s on a roll!

If MSM is not already in the toilet bowl, its headed there.

Read on.

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Did you know that Chua Soi Lek’s MCA boss Ong Ka Ting is de facto Minister for Buddhist Affairs?

So how about Abdullah Badawi appointing Chua as in fragrant delicto Minister for Personal Affairs? This Quango can be given as a plum, post-retirement sinecure to the departing MCA stalwart when the dust settles and we return to politics as usual. After all, Istana Zakaria is a standing testament to this very Malaysian “mudah lupa, close-one-eye” credo.

 I’d commented in Haris’ post “Labis” that The Star played striptease in this sex scandal – what it covers is more revealing than what it exposes.  

Let’s do Compare & Contrast on news as it is presented to the Malaysian public.  

On the PM “making Cabinet appointments on-the-run, with the public and the Ministers themselves completely unaware of the existence of such [religious affairs] Cabinet portfolios and responsibilities”, read Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang’s media statement here: http://dapmalaysia.org/english/2007/dec07/lks/lks4670.htm 

On the sexpose that opened 2008 with a bang: The Star went to town with the story on Jan 2 but in reality fails to clue us in. The Health Minister is a healthy 61-year-old. And how young is the SYT featured in his bedroom romp? The paper fails in the first ‘W’ of basic journalism: Who’s that girl?  

Other than the “personal friend” allusion made by Chua himself, we’re told nothing. The description is only stating the obvious – a hard up, err, ‘friend’ in need is one in deed … but the irony escapes our shallow and stained propaganda sheet. 

Considering that Star is an MCA organ and usually claiming to have insider dope on party matters, its coverage (all of four pages long) is abysmal in terms of penetration.  

Page 3 reported that “Dr Chua, who was clad in a yellow batik shirt, said he met with Abdullah on Monday”. Yes, we can see from the photo that he’s in sunshine batik. Frankly my dear reporter, we don’t give a damn about his sartorial inclinations. Not when we’ve already seen the YAB in a delectable state of undress.  

Then it reports Chua as saying: “I will not let people tarnish … me as a minister, MP and party leader”. Its coy coverage of what the Minister said discloses very little; its spin merely MCA’s formulaic, not to mention unimaginative, exercise in damage control. 

Page 4 says: “[Chua] was in an uncomfortable position yesterday as he faced down pressman. But he was brave and calm as he fielded questions from reporters”. Hmmn, The Star does have a way with words. More comfortable positions there are indeed. But “brave”, eh? Now where’s valour in MCA when you need it? Are MCA leaders able to pluck up their courage when a thug pulls out a sharp, wavy weapon? 

Star Page 6 has this headline: “Chua – highly experienced” and subhead: “A leader known for his hands-on work”. I assure you the double entendre is perfectly unintentional. The article was very seriously and earnestly plugging Chua’s political calibre in Cabinet as MCA representative, not Chua’s high performance in his private space.  

What were points of interest to the paper? It took some pains to point out that anyone in possession of the Health Ministry-warning DVD could be charged by police, and fined and jailed three years. It took greater pains to point out that the unknown snoops who made the recording were out to entrap Chua and by extension make his party look immoral.  

If I’m taking this little bit of trouble to deconstruct The Star, it’s only to augment a few lines of argument for our ‘Boycott the newspapers!’ project, viz alternative media gives more satisfaction.  

The Malaysiakini report contains details of the video content. Reading The Star, you wouldn’t know at all … the encounter (never mind its sin city label) might have been as suitable for ‘Universal’ viewing as Bambi. But if you want the real McCoy, go to YouTube. 

PAS and other moral guardians have expressed their righteous indignation at Chua’s misdemeanour. Nonetheless my view is that while he may have done harm to his marriage, in the wider context of hurting national interests, Chua is off the Top 10 shortlist. 

Just to cite one example, MSM’s toxic spin on Hindraf is far more harmful and injurious to our fraught race relations. Chua may be hot stuff and spice of the day but we’re keeping our perspective and not lurching from one news agenda to another set by MSM.  

So good on Haris for his Labis post. Now let’s eye Chua’s seat (Parliamentary, not pert bottom).