Malaysiakini top ten news. Indians have to die at police hands to make it. Race based news worthiness in Malaysia?
Newsportal for the “underdogs”?
It has not only been this year but for almost the last eight years or so that we taken note that the only time even critical Indian issues get to the top 10 even in Malaysiakini (Malayasikini 28/12/09), the News portal for the “underdogs”? is when they lose their life at the hands of the Malay-sian authorities. This year it was A. Kugan and that too it was the tail end at No.8 (Malaysiakini 28/12/09). We recallect that previously only S.Tharmarajen who also died in police custody and others who were killed in police custody made it to the top ten. Teoh Beng Hock was rightly made Malaysiakini’s news maker of 2009(Malaysiakini 30/12/09). But hundreds of other Indians also died very cruelly at the hands of the police but they don’t make it as the newsmaker of the year.
We must recognize however that during our most lean times Malaysiakini has given us the due coverage. We also appreciate their link to Top of blogs.
Most issues which concerns Indian victims however critical, unjust or unfair does not get the appropriate coverage for the only reason that the victims are Indians. The latest examples being the suicide of R. Seetha who committed suicide because her brother along with four other youths including a 17 year old juvenile were shot dead and killed in cold blooded murder by the police sharp shooters in their shoot to kill policy. The Kampong Buah Pala the last traditional Indian village in Penang destruction by Kapitan Lim Guan Eng and ably aided and abetted by his Indian Mandores. And the 100 over year old hindu crematorium at Ladang Batu Pekaka, Kuala Ketil being destroyed by PAS. Pray tell us of one Chinese, Muslim, Christian or Buddhist cemetery that gets destroyed like this in Malaysia or in fact in any other part of the world including Somalia or even Zimbabwe.
But these three events would not qualify as the top ten stories even in “our” Malaysiakini because the victims are the poor and working class Indians.
Thus the present critical state of affairs concerning the Indians in Malaysia.
If even our Malaysiakini can do this to the Indians what more the mainstream print and electronic media.
The press deem these Indian stories not press worthy meaning it does not appeal to the majoritarian Malay natives and the Chinese who make up about 92% of the population.
The Indians who make up a mere 8% however critical their problems are do not qualify to be the top ten or even most other news on a day to day basis. Simply because they are Indians Thus the critical Indian problems getting worst by the day as it does not get the appropriate attention.
This is where the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the rest of the western world differs in that they do not use race as the yardstick for press worthiness but in fact even bend backwards to cover the weak minorities because the rich and powerful majority will be taken care of somehow.
In the aforesaid case where 5 Indians were shot dead by the police Malaysiakini covered their story only after a victim’s sister committed suicide after also giving her four children paraquat but who survived. But a Chinese national who was detained for eight days at a police lock instantly gets Malaysiakini coverage because it is newsworthy”.
Malaysia today is another classical example. RPK would cover just about any other issue expect when the victims are Indians. Go through his site and see for yourself if he excludes critical Indian issue.
Needless to mention UMNOs’, NST, Utusan, Berita Harian and the Star, Sun Malay Mail etc.
We have asked many many reporters including the many Indian reporters after a lengthy explanation as to why they sideline and side-step reporting even on the critical Indian problems. They all have no answer and remain mum. This is what we have for freedom of the press in Malaysia and reporting going by “news worthiness”.
HRP Information Cheif