Friday, December 01, 2006
MCA Justifies and We Are Not Convinced
In the last few days, a number people who are pro-Nanyang/Sin Chew consolidation have tried to defend the action as a pure commercial acquisition. Today, the MCA is trying the same. It justifies the Chinese media consolidation by accusing NST-Utusan of doing the same. We should remind them that two wrongs do make a right.
MCA Online wrote:
The impending merger between the New Straits Times Press Bhd (NSTP) and Utusan Melayu will have huge implications to the Chinese community. The non-Malay’s voice in both the English and Malay language papers will be greatly reduced after the merger takes place.
My verdict: Yes, there will be a marginalisation of the critical voices. But then again, the Star is doing exactly the same. It can be more pro-UMNO than UMNO controlled newspapers. Do we need to quote you examples? I bet not. Too many.
However, the commentary is inconsistent and unpredictable. Reading the first paragraph would have led readers to speculate the opposition of MCA to the merger. But it tries to justify it instead:
The deal is unavoidable as it is driven by commercial considerations like pushing for a greater slice of advertising revenue and cost savings on expenditure for new printing machines and staffing. Taking into considerations the economy of scale, if the papers do not merge, they would not be able to sustain their operations in the long term.
To the MCA, protecting commercial interests is more important than maintaining the democratic voices of the people. Then, MCA inconsistency got uncontrollable when it suggests that:
The public should refute the allegations that certain individual has a hidden agenda to monopolize the mainstream Chinese media in the country. There is no way for any party to monopolize any media because we could not overlook the fast growing trend of Internet as the new media tool for the young people to express their views.
It is now trying to justify the selling of Nanyang stakes to Sin Chew's boss by saying that the media is still free because we have the internet. Its commentary says that since NST and Utusan are at it, why can't Nanyang and Sin Chew:
When owner of Sin Chew Media Corporation Bhd, which publishes two top newspapers, Sin Chew Daily and Guangming Daily decided to purchase 21.02% of Nanyang Press Holdings’ shares, the owner of Chinese dailies Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press, they are only consolidating their operational base which is what NST and Utusan is going to do.
The commentary ended by preaching media diversity, the only sentence it got right in the entire article:
Those involved in the media industry should always champion for diversity in press to prevail to enable a healthy development of the media industry in Malaysia.
No wonder, MCA acknowledges UMNO as its Big Brother. Both are equally confusing, mischevious or outright stupid?.
When such a commentary is made to justify its action, no wonder we smell fishes.