Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Of Wong Chun Wai, The Star and Helen

A few pro-government blogs had recently bombarded The Star, writer Helen Ang and group editor-in-chief Wong Chun Wai for showing 'signs of inclination' toward the opposition pact, and in this case the DAP.

I am not sure if the writers do know WCW in person or The Star's policy but one thing I am sure of, the three (WCW especially) are for Barisan Nasional and PM Najib's administration. Helen, an ex-Star is a critic writer - while supporting BN, she also criticises any policy deemed as not bringing any good result to the country.

I am also such a writer who feels free to weigh any government program, analysing the process of implementation and the result. While working closely with some ministers, I also 'whack' them for similar reasons.

Home Minister Hishammuddin recently came under my sharp criticism over the failure of the 6P program in addressing the issue of foreign workers in the country, and he was okay about it. Foreign Minister Anifah too is among my favorite target. In fact, I had on many occasions criticised PM, his deputy and few Cabinet members over certain issues.

As an Umno member, I believe I am among a few bloggers who give so much attention in observing and writing about the party, pointing to its weaknesses and complacency and the manner in which it is being led. And the response from the top leadership and the grassroot members are always positive.

I am of the opinion that we cannot become 'yesmen' to everything that the government does and introduce. As some policies augur well to the national upkeep, the rest need to be reviewed. Nodding to the bosses perhaps is the trait among majority of the civil servants, notably the seniors as they simply don't want to give the impression that whatever they do is backfiring.

To me, this is bad. However, in shooting out our criticism, we must also be able to line our logic and good counter-argument as to how such a policy should be administered. And in some cases, I found that my view is well-accepted.

The Star belongs to MCA, a key component of Barisan Nasional. MCA will not betray the spirit of cooperation within BN, neither will it allow The Star editorial team to run the newspaper to their whim and fancy.

Like any other pro-government newspapers, I believe The Star puts business above all. While the Media Prima group (New Straits Times and Berita Harian) and Utusan Malaysia seem to be 'punctual' in their attacks against the opposition, The Star gives a little space to Pakatan Rakyat.

Those who read The Star everyday will notice this but that does not condemn the newspaper as being pro-opposition. Its not fair at all to accuse WCW and his editorial team of becoming a set of tools for Pakatan propaganda.

When the paper published a few line story about Ong Kian Ming's entry into DAP, it was just another form of news, just like when other papers carried stories about Zaid Ibrahim leaving Umno and forming Kita, and Lajim Ukin joining the opposition.

A news is just another news. Although readers have options in sourcing it, mainstream newspapers are always sought. For English, The Star and NST are the major ones but readers who look for balanced-reporting would go for The Star.

I don't buy too many newspapers. I usually opt for one English and one Bahasa. In supporting the government, I must also keep abreast with happenings on the other side. News about the opposition movement is also important as it helps me in my writing and keeping track of the domestic politics.

To me, pooling only for pro-BN news will not help in our political strategy to counter any of their assault. In inculcating reading habit among the people, we should not bar them from reading such news because it helps mature them, both socially and politically.

And its not fair at all for me to label those reading Harakah, Roket or Suara Keadilan as being pro-opposition! Do you?

WCW is always a pro-government journalist. Accusing her of being pro-opposition is also not very right as she is very supportive of the blog that lambasts the opposition, notably Lim Guan Eng in Penang, Stopthelies. She also accuses The Star of being pro-DAP but stems out from her personal grudges against The Star and WCW.

The Star is a good newspaper in the sense that it caters to both sides of the readers. Although it may allocate between 2 per cent to 3 per cent of its space to the opposition news, it helps in maintaining a good circulation and a vibrant advertisement revenue, unlike other newspapers that saw reeling income due to over obsession in politics.

The Star, which employs a few thousand staff, is happy to keep a bulging purse and share it with shareholders and employees. A little opposition news is a fine balance because some of the companies taking up the advertisement are also sitting on the opposition bench.

Without good revenues, The Star will not be able to offer higher salaries and better perks to its staff. I remember during my tenure with a newspaper company, some pro-opposition companies and corporate figures did take up the advertisement space, contributing to almost 30 per cent of the newspaper's monthly nett income.

And what's wrong with that?

The Star honors and place employees as its most valuable asset. And to reward them, the management has to work hard in securing a stable and good revenue which will be translated into employees' remunerations. While The Star can afford to offer a six-month bonus to its staff, other publications can only manage a two-month, and while other newspapers see declining revenue from advertisements, The Star is still riding high.

I don't think the government is offended with the small space The Star gives to the opposition news. In fact in journalism, any news is just news and everybody deserves the rights to read a balanced-report. I don't call The Star as a balance newspaper as almost 97 per cent of its news content is attributed to BN and non-opposition stuff.

Helen is just another difficult case but we may find many 'Helen' at NST, BH, Utusan and other publications. We have some pro-Anwar journalists serving NSTP and Utusan, and so are some senior government servants who enjoy high monthly salaries from the Public Service Department but clawing back at the government.

Are we denying all this?

So, accusation is the rights of the accuser but making wild accusation without any tangible proof and bona fide reasons will reflect how naive we are at ascertaining our words. We need to be fair and take every aspect of it into our consideration.

I believe should Pakatan Rakyat takes over Putrajaya after the next general election (I am against this idea), The Star will remain strong - in keeping its business and protecting the interest of its thousand employees. I am not sure about others.

Politics aside, I believe The Star is and will forever support the government but at the same time puts the interest of its employees and shareholders on the back of a good and strong business footings.

32 comments:

dr ramzi, KL said...

cant agree more.

the star is a positively news-oriented newspaper, not like others that go overboard in politics and sidelining the need to keep good business and taking care of the workers.

i have been reading star for more than 20 years now and i never felt its supporting the opposition.

its a business-oriented publication!

south star said...

people at the star knows who this helen is.

as an ex-star, she accuses the company as being pro-dap, holding grudges against her former bosses and colleagues.

however, i also know her of being a strong bn supporter, no doubt about it.

so, as someone who really knows her, i dont agree with what was posted by the unspinners a few days ago.

i believe the blogger rides too much on anti-star sentiment... or just for the sake of writing!

masih di BH said...

jai,

i agree that the star is more for business, rather than in politics. i like it that way as the interest of its employees should be placed as top priority. should the star closes down, thousands will lose their job, quite a number of them are also malays.

penangan said...

salam tuan,

raya dah habis ke? haha!

saya turut membaca the star sejak berhenti membeli NST sejak 10 tahun lalu. seperti yg tn kata, berita tetap berita, tidak kira mengenai kerajaan atau pembangkang.

sebagai rakyat dan pembaca, kita berhak tau dan perlu ambil tau apa yang berlaku dalam politik tanah air.

jika nak beli sampai 4 atau 5 naskhah akhbar setiap hari dari pihak kerajaan dan pembangkang, bukan semua orang mampu.

the star, seperti yang tuan sebut, turut mementingkan kebajikan pekerja dan masa depan bisnesnya.

inilah yang sepatutnya ada pada semua akhbar di malaysia ni. dalam dunia internet hari ini, lebih ramai mahukan liputan adil, menyebabkan akhbar yang terlalu berat sebelah akan kehilangan pembaca dan pengiklannya.

Anonymous said...

what a crap!

the star is supporting DAP and the opposition, if u notice. more and more DAP news make way to its pages!

that helen is another asshole for being an opportunist!

tauke lim said...

Wong Chun Wai a DAP-supporter?

hahahaahaha!!!!

what a crap. talking with him will make us listen to his mumbling and sharp notes about the opposition and how he despises lim guan eng!

that also u dont know aaar!!!

drebar lori said...

bro,

now i know who are behind stopthelies. heheheheeh... dont hide lor!

so smart huh!

Anonymous said...


Lubokboy says
macam la kita tak kenal kau Bujai . berjaya jual minyak pada ali rusttam dah?

TAK MAKAN BABI said...

saya rasa tak ada salahnya bagi the star, malah akhbar lain juga, menyiarkan sedikit berita mengenai perkembangan pihak pembangkang.

rakyat kalau boleh ingin mendapatkan sumber begini daripada satu atau dua sumber.

jadi, jika ada akhbar arus perdana bahasa inggeris dan bahasa yang menyiarkannya, eloklah kita langgannya daripada membeli berpuluh-puluh penerbitan yang ada dalam pasaran.

semua berita sama - untuk pengetahuan rakyat!

pro-Pakatan said...

best la the star ni, lama2 sok dia mesti sokong pembangkang punya!

hahahahahaah!!!!

Anonymous said...

at least the star is better than others. nst is so much-politically driven and that explains its small profit and bonus.

the star is business-driven and it takes care of the employees and shareholders interest in a way no other companies can offer.

so whats wrong with a bit of opp news?

after all, do we live on good income of politics?

common sense lar!

enigma said...

what's paramount for the star is business, good returns and handsome reward for employees. i think its something others should emulate this. politics are important but putting the interest of businesses and employees must be our top priority. and nothing is wrong with the star small 'news room' for the opposition. afterall, its only about whats taking place in the opposition camp and no analysis whatsoever about supporting anwar ibrahim and gang!

caplamangga said...

beli satu paper, dapat semua berita.

jadi, apa salahnya baca the star untuk laporan seimbang dan adil? dia bukan sokong pakatan rakyat pun!

bodohlah siapa2 yang sengaja tuduh star ni sokong pakatan!

macam bangang je!

Anonymous said...

helen is a sour grap. he hates the star and chun wai.

but she is a bn ardent supporter, no doubt about it.

when one criticises the govt, we cannot simply label him or her as being anti-govt. not fair at all

Anonymous said...

the star is business-driven, others are politically-driven.

so, which is better?

karipuley said...

i thought journalism is about reporting and disseminating news to readers!

if we blackout the opposition, the rakyat will be of the impression that the ruling party is doing the right thing always.

i stopped reading nst and utusan some years ago, bias reporting and too many coward balls!

Anonymous said...

another piece by an umno stooge. u dont know that mca is siding dap but u pretend of not knowing!

pembaca banyak blog said...

the star mengambil jalan yang betul. di atas sifatnya yang mementingkan perniagaan daripada politik, maka ia mampu menawarkan keistimewaan dan faedah lebih baik kepada pekerja dan pemegang saham, berbanding nstp, media prima dan utusan.

apa gunanya bidang kewartawanan kalau hanya berat sebelah dan tidak peka dengan kehendak pembaca!

Anonymous said...

thats the problem with malaysian journalism, full of craps and bullshit!

only star is taking the right path in providing balance news to readers.

others... full of shit!

kutub khanah said...

buat apa bukak suatkaba kalau tak boleh berlaku adil?

the star buat banyak untung sebab dia adil walaupun sedikit tapi sokongan terhadapnya tetap teguh.

bila bisnes bagus, kakitangan pun nikmati laba yang baik, begitu juga pemegang saham.

kalau setakat utusan dan berita harian tu, boleh buat bungkus belacan je lar! terlampau banyak main politik, pembaca pun naik meluat. ada pulak letak ishak dan meor kat situ, boleh tergolek lambat laun bisnes ni!

udin angkasapuri said...

jai, bila kita tgk orang baca harakah, kita tuduh orang tu sokong pas walhal dia cuma nak tau berita mengenai pembangkang.

mentaliti melayu memang macam ni.

sama jugak diorang anggap apa saja mengenai bahasa arab itu sebagai islam!

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm

Aside from the Self Compliments we should nevertheless compliment you for admitting to being a BN Propoganda Tool..

A word of advise though... Try and get as much dough as you can for BN's rule may be shortlived!

No Army can win a war by being continually on the defensive! Look at all wars and you will notice this premise at play!

Najib will always be on the defence as Daim said ...He is a general with no army! So he just hunkers down and hope to dodge the bullets!
Watch for the Scopene Bazooka that is coming compliments the French...Attempting to use his honchos to neutralise Suaram will only strengthen their resolve and we can predict what will happen next!

In the meantime use your puny duds but the writing is on the wall..Just Read!!!.


Joe Black
Joe Black

watanabe said...

agree with TAUKE LIM.

chun wai is for BN although he does criticise the govt once in a while but still, nothing's wrong with that. as u said, we cannot become 'yesmen' all the time, including for policies that didnt work out well!

a long time ago said...

lets be wise and sensible here.

i second your view that the star puts business and the interest of its workers above all but at the same time plays an important role in helping the ruling party.

politics may work well with business but in news and media with such a number of staff, the star cannot seen as playing a tool for the govt.

opening its small door to news from the opposition is the best practical way of ensuring good business as, like u mentioned, business is not all belong to pro-govt people.

a newspaper business will be doomed without readers and advertisements. we have seen the demise of some publications that failed to attract advertisers due to its sharp incline towards the government.

there must be some check and balance in doing things, esp in business.

Anonymous said...

yes, star is pro-govt, no doubt about it and making good business should be above all as it plays host to a few thousand workers.

thats the way to go...

Anonymous said...

Helen ang? That frustrated person?

Anonymous said...

That Helen woman comes across in her writings as very pro BN extremely anti DAP But she also sounds really bitter and generally unpleasant
It's a pity because she is agood writer both in English and MalayShe should take it easy

Anonymous said...

MCA owns The Star. UMNO owns Utusan Melayu. Both also in the BN camps.

One is having higher readership every year while the other is getting less and less.

And what about the Chinese and Indian papers which belongs to pro-BN parties?

It's very simple. Anyone who don't like the editors or the writers or the news or the professionalism of the paper, just don't buy it to read. No one force you to buy, is there?

It will just disappear finally unless Godfather keeps on using Rakyats monies to support it. That is only also temporary.

The worst off will still be the unlucky employees in that company in the end. Not the politicians nor the critics. That's life.

masambula said...

the star is a bit liberal but more liberal than others.

that's what we want and that's how the paper survives.

why not? a little bit of opp news? anything wrong with that?

Anonymous said...

star is always better than others!

and thats FACT!

vinnan said...

Defending your pendatang Chinese dogs eh? Ptooi.

Anonymous said...

1. Buka puasa with babi on the menu
2. Allah tattoo on Erykah Badu
3. Plagiat article
4. Thick newspaper half filled with ads

True. Its non-partisan and popular. Politics don't matter, only money.

Thanks but The Star is not for me.

-Rabbit