Sin Chew slams Guan Eng’s press relations

Tough questions about state’s Purple Shirt volunteer patrol

Guang Ming reporter assaulted

We should still remember that one of PPS members even beat up a reporter some time ago, claiming after committing the crime that he was the “CM’s man.” The perpetrator was later indicted, convicted and expelled from the PPS.

But the weird thing is, the same guy was spotted putting on PPS uniform not too long ago. To the state government, the question [about gangsters in PPS] appears to be a big taboo
TAY TIAN YAN
Sin Chew columnist

Penang’s chief minister Lim Guan Eng, his press secretary, and an executive councillor have come under criticism from Tay Tian Yan, deputy editor-in-chief of Sin Chew, who has called for a public hearing at which the press could freely question state leaders about the controversial state-sponsore Pasukan Peronda Sukarela community service unit.

In his weekly column Without Fear or Favour on Friday, Tay questioned Guan Eng’s handling of the press, the combativeness of Guan Eng’s press secretary, and mentioned the harsh response from councillor Phee Boon Poh, who oversees the voluntary unit, towards reporters’ enquiries.

Tay’s column So who is meek and who is evil now? was republished at the Malay Mail Online and Malaysian Insider at the weekend, a day before police arrested 158 PPS members and councillor Phee after the Merdeka Day parade. The column was also carried at Malaysia Today this morning.

The Sin Chew editor’s criticism comes amidst rumblings of growing disenchantment among the Penang press corps about Guan Eng’s “arrogance” — which has dogged him from the beginning when he parachuted into Penang months before the 2008 election ending up as Chief Minister. Continue reading

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Sin Chew, CC Liew and Tay under fire

MalaysiaKini columnist Josh Hong tears apart Sin Chew (company motto integrity above all) in a piece entitled Hypocrisy of Sin Chew At Its Best, with CC Liew and Tay Tian Yan coming in for severe criticism.

Highlights of the column:

  • Rita Sim (right) on the way out, CC Liew’s son-in-law moving in
  • CC Liew lowered himself to the same level as Zam in accepting the Tokoh Wartawan award
  • Sin Chew ‘sold out’ to Barisan Nasional, currying favour with Najib
  • Dubious writing abilities of Tay and other senior writers

He says Rita, who is executive director of Sin Chew, is out now that the MCA is a spent force and especially with current MCA leader Chua Soi Lek angry with the paper over its coverage of MCA affairs.

Rita, a political strategist and analyst, was seen to be an ally of former MCA president Ong Ka Ting.

CC Liew accepting a journalism award in Taiwan last year. » Details

Joshua says she may be replaced by Leong Chew Meng, a son-in-law of CC Liew, the company’s managing director, a longtime chief editor, and the backbone of Sin Chew from its Operation Lallang days

Joshua criticises CC Liew for not using “the enormous influence of the Chinese press to push the boundaries” and instead opting to curry favour with the Barisan Nasional and prime minister Najib Tun Razak.

“There is hardly any article critical of the authorities nowadays, while words by Najib are taken as gospel truth,” he writes.

(In the mid-1980s, Sin Chew was noted for its hard-hitting editorial coverage, resulting in the paper’s closure for five months by the Mahathir Mohamad government in Operation Lallang. CC Liew, then chief editor, negotiated the paper’s comeback and its financial rescue by Sarawak timber tycoon Tiong Hiew King, and led the paper’s revival to its position as the dominant Chinese-language paper.)

Zainuddin Maidin, Tokoh Wartawan 2006Joshua says CC Liew’s “unctuous loyalty” resulted in the Tokoh Wartawan Negara award from the Malaysian Press Institute in October, which Joshua says “only puts Liew on a par with Zainuddin Maidin”.

(Zam, a Mathathir loyalist noted for his conservative and Malays First views, was for long chief editor of Utusan Malaysia. He later became Information Minister and was caught ignominously off-guard in a live Al Jazeera television interview in 2008. He was made Tokoh Wartawan in 2006, joining a line of eminent Utusan editors such as Melan Abdullah and Mazlan Nordin, and NST-Berita Harian’s A Samad Ismail.)

Joshua also gave Sin Chew writers a lambasting. He said opinion pieces by Sin Chew’s “so-called senior journalists”, now also carried in The Star and Malaysian Insider, were “either wishy-washy or completely ridiculous”.

He picked on one of his favourite targets, Tay Tian Yan, a deputy editor-in-chief who writes daily social and political commentary, and accused Tay of unethical practices as well as condoning personal attacks on critics such as himself in anonymous articles.

“The deterioration in Sin Chew’s quality no doubt has its roots in media monopoly,” Joshua writes. “The comfortable position occupied by those with vested interests in the press industry clearly explains why the Chinese dailies are now so removed from the political sentiments on the ground.”

» READ THE FULL ARTICLE: Hypocrisy of Sin Chew at its best