Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Chun Wai should not be blamed

The readers' poll on 'Bersih 2.0' which was carried by The Star newspaper drew mixed reactions from politicians, the media and blog writers. Some said it was tantamount to The Star throwing its full support for the planned rally next month while others described it as an immodesty.

To accuse The Star editorial team as being ignoramous and not sensitive to the sentiments caused by Bersih 2.0 is also not proper as the newspaper is professionally-led. However, professionals do err once in a while.

But to accuse The Star of committing an enormity is a bit overboard. If we expect the government, especially the Home Ministry to take a relentless action against the publication, we should may as well recap what other papers have done in the past few months. I personally believe what Utusan Malaysia did about two months ago was of 'equal' to that of The Star.

The Bersih 2.0 poll puts The Star group editor-in-chief Wong Chun Wai (picture) in a limbo. Making him the villain is not just. Calling him a sympathiser of Bersih 2.0 and an Opposition's supporter will be ultimately wrong and prejudice as he himself is a strong supporter of Barisan Nasional.

This is evident in his many writings about his dissent towards the Opposition. I believe The Star, too is still very much upholding the ruling party's interest although it may sometimes give 'a little space to news from the other side'. And there is nothing wrong with that as it also enhances its circulation among the anti-BN readers.

Now, I personally believe Chun Wai and The Star will take action against its online editor Joseph Raj who unilaterally pasted up the poll without his bosses' consent.

I was just informed that Joseph has accepted full responsibility for carrying out the decision without consulting his immediate supervisor. Whatever his motive was, The Star must conduct an internal inquiry and take necessary action on him.

I was also told that Joseph was at the Home Ministry this morning for a brief 'interview' with secretary-general Mahmood Adam. The Star has also lodged reports with the police and the MCMC against manipulators of the polls, and a few SB personnel have met Joseph too.

The Star is not a one-man-show operation. Chun Wai has his assistants and other subordinates whose job is to oversee the newspaper contents from A to Z. I know how the editorial team works as I was there once. Not all matters would be referred to the group editor-in-chief as most of it will only reach the levels of his assistants or other editors.

Even the government makes mistake sometimes. There were occasions when different Cabinet Ministers made contradicting statements about its certain policies. The Prime Minister will only attend to major issues while his subordinates (the ministers) will attend to matters affecting their portfolios. However, the PM will from time to time announce substantive and important matters of the ministries, should the needs arise.

Chun Wai is not a perfect scapegoat either. Of all the accusations that he is pro-Opposition and - to some extents a subversive agent - his stewardship has seen The Star being at the forefront in the nation's print media industry. Apart from disseminating well-and-balanced news, it also plays a constructive role in bringing the Malaysians together.

The Bersih poll was a mistake by one or two personnel but it should not be turned into a passport to batter the whole organisation. Some doctors do make silly errors on the operation table, engineers' miscalculation caused some bridges and buildings to collapse while some government projects had failed due to over-zealous implementation.

It is wrong to question The Star fidelity and it is also not right to create a detest against the newspaper. All newspapers have committed similar errors in the past - mostly caused by unilateral decisions by one or two oblivious personnel.

Most of us would prefer to see some heads roll but in this case, its better to leave the matter to the company's jurisdiction. Of course, the government has a say but any course of action to be taken must not stir the good spirit of Barisan Nasional.

We - the pro-BN bloggers, writers, journalists and others - have a bigger agenda in securing the ruling party's victory in the next national poll. Let us not lose our sanity by firing at each other. By the way, did we blame Aziz Ishak of Utusan?

This is not a piece to cover Wong Chun Wai but something for us to understand. Malaysia is complex society!


ex-journo 2004 said...

jai, agree.

i was part of an editorial team during the late 1990s and not everything that we decided on would be referred to the big boss of chief editor. he would be busy with other things, notably in attending to high-level meetings with the govt.

some people are not very familiar at editorial operations - reporters, pixmen, sub-editors, proof readers, news editors, asst editors, editors and so on.

even an army general would not know most of the things that happened downstairs...

Anonymous said...

you are right (about not blaming chun wai alone) but as the boss, he should take some responsibilities too.

that online editor deserves to be sack. at least, give him a six-mnth pay and make him leave for good.

halimunan said...

apa yang dibuat oleh utusan jauh lebih teruk daripada opinion poll the star ni bro. takda sapa pun salahkan dtk aziz ishak. utusan pun cuma dapat surat amaran daripada kementerian dalam negeri. kalau kdn ambil tindakan lebih teruk daripada itu ke atas the star, maknanya kita ni memang pilih kasih!

Paul PPP said...

get rid of joseph, then all issues are considered closed!

otroman said...




OPPSSS.... sori ek!

Anonymous said...

lets see what KDN will do.

i was told PM asked KDN to attend to the issue.

misuari said...

dulu sorang editor bangsa india di star jugak yang buat havoc pasal undang2 syariah.

ni sorang lagi kawan dia.

apa agaknya motif mangkuk ni? nak buat supaya star kena ban ke?

hantar dia ke kem BTN je.... biar dia paham!

Anonymous said...

The agenda to takeover decision-making from the Malays were at its best during sleepyhead pm and his sil

Now that Najib is at the helm, this agenda is crushed to a pulp. All these initiatives were desperate measures to keep the momentum of pru12 at "maintain mode".

Pak Zawi said...

Sometimes the truth hurt but ain't the paper is supposed to tell the truth? I see nothing wrong with the poll as it illustrate the real situation on the ground. Don't be too hasty and conclude that it was manipulated. I missed the chance and if I didn't I would have voted for it to go on too. Thus the power that be must act in accordance. Why kill the messenger of truth?

STEEST said...

Reading this, I think you are a pro-Malaysia blogger. :D

STEEST said...

I forgot to add that I agree with you.

a friend said...


i know chun wai well enough. he is for BN. whoever says he is a radical and pro-Opp must establish the accusation.

its easy to make blank allegation but not easy to proof it.

i hope this small episode doesnt drag pro-umno bloggers to find fault in star or its management.

Anonymous said...

if star didnt come up with the poll, others will. i believe some news portals and newspapers would.

the only mistake is, the poll was controlled by one person, and this is truly regretted.

i hope star will be more careful next time.

pro-star said...

jai, what utusan did was worse. so, if kdn takes severe action on the star, then they have to go back to utusan!

masih di BH said...

aku tau la kau rapat dengan chun wai ni. tapi memang ada benar apa kau cakap, kena paham operasi editorial. tak baik salahkan dia sorang je.

tapi bro.... ada apa2 ke ni?

Anonymous said...

ia kesilapan yang tak sepatutnya berlaku. datuk seri wong chun wai kena bertanggungjawab di atas semua hal seperti ini. joseph ni mungkin tak sedar bahawa ia satu kesilapan atau memang dia adalah pro pembangkang.

Anonymous said...

the directive by PM for KDN to investigate the matter shows how serious is it.

i think joseph should be sacked immediately!

kaniney said...

just a simple question - what's wrong with the poll anyway?

cari duit said...

saya tidak nampak pun poll tu mengancam keselamatan negara, seperti yang didakwa oleh sesetengah pihak.

kalau nak difikirkan soal keselamatan, dah banyak akhbar ditutup dan ramai editor dah kena cekup.

kalaulah akhbar pembangkang yang siarkan poll tu, tak salah pulak ke?

ini dunia tanpa sempadan. banyak perkara boleh berlaku, cuma kita gunakanlah kebijaksanaan sendiri.

kenapa tak ambil tindakan ke atas news portal yang melampau di internet?

north pole said...

let us see the course of action to be taken against star.... whether it reflects the govt double-standard practice. if utusan is off the hook, they must not come down hard on the star!

the arbitrator said...


most bloggers are only pro-umno... and not pro-BN!

see the difference?

george boy said...

some prople have manipulated the poll, bro.

Anonymous said...

"It happen under his WATCH".......

That the normal recourse in Malaysia...I DONT KNOW, I WAS NOT INFORMED etc etc etc.....

Get some balls, own up, reprimand the responsible party (INCLUDING YOURSELF if necessary)and make sure it does not happen again....

Or another Malaysian solution, LET IT SLIDE.....and die a natural death.

cindy will said...


some bloggers are good at criticizing others but they cant take it when others criticize them.

bloggers too must be constructive, esp the pro-bn ones. they should formulate how to find solution to problems like this rather than bashing up blindly.

be fair lor

budak sekolah said...

alaaa.... takda salahnya poll tu. yang undi semunya yang sokong bersih. jadi, ia tak menggambarkan keadaan sebenar.

banyak lagi benda sensitif kat negara ni tapi kdn buat bodoh je.

Anonymous said...

Tidak salah untuk Wong Chun Wai ambil tanggungjawab 'pikul' kesalahan kerana dia boss di The Star. Kalau boss nak cuci tangan, baik jadi reporter macai aje.
Kes ini mengingatkan saya laporan mengenai penganugerahan Datuk kepada Rajagobal setahun lalu oleh The Star....akhbar lain tak tulis pun...kenapa The Star yang terlebih dulu bagi datuk kepada Rajagobal...Ini nampak sangat ada agenda. Jadi dalam kes Bersih ini pun kita boleh membaca agenda Chun Wai....(Melayu tak pernah lupa)

Anonymous said...

Haiya, chun wai' stock so low that Rocky x layman him and a half bake blogger like u hve to do it. How much were u paid?