Bomohs ‘clean’ out buildings. But are they now bersih?
Things must be getting pretty bad at Balai Berita. Ghosts and ghostbusters have been seen at the newspaper offices. Yes, really, said an NST insider.
Production of the first edition of this week’s New Sunday Times was disrupted for half an hour on Saturday night as a group of bomohs carried out exorcism rites throughout Balai Berita, including the 14-storey car park.
An NST insider said the team of bomohs went through each of the three wings of Balai Berita, floor by floor.
NST editorial staff on the second floor of the new wing were cleared out at 9.20pm — rush-hour for the sub-editing desk, with just an hour before the first edition pages are closed. Everyone was asked to leave their work, go downstairs and wait outside while the bomohs carried out their rites.
Ghosts or ghostly apparitions have reportedly been sighted in the building, most often at the multi-story car park from level 12 upwards, late at night. Sightings were reported at midnight, and one sighting at 2am.
(Editorial staff of NSTP Group newspapers work until 2am, to produce the final editions of NST, Berita Harian and Harian Metro for the Klang Valley. Most of those working late are sub-editors, the people in charge of editing news reports and producing news pages, graphic artists, and production staff.)
The “ghosts” were apparently seen perched on the ledges of the open wall car park floors.
One news reporter who is said to have sighted a ghost has been on sick leave (but this could not be confirmed).
Now that the bomohs have done their job and cleaned up Balai Berita, thousands of readers will now be hoping that they, too, will not be haunted by the kind of news coverage that has characterised NSTP Group newspapers of late.
One former Star journo who heard about it on Sunday afternoon isn’t convinced the exorcism worked, though. The place is still haunted by party hacks, he said.
Of course, no one believes that the recent visit by a group of oldtimers of the 1960s to 1980s — the ghosts of newspapers past, as it were — could have led to the recent hauntings, but Balai Berita could still very much be haunted by the spirit of journalism past. And that spirit will never fade away, no matter how many teams of ghostbusters they bring in.
On the other hand circulation reports showing NST and Berita Harian sales going steadily downhill are depressing enough that almost anyone could begin to see things.