A report by The Malaysian Insider regarding Chua Soi Lek’s statement on Hee Yit Foong is screenshot below. The actual press release as worded by Dr Chua is reproduced at the bottom of the page. This posting compares the two versions and highlights the TMI embellishments.
(1) Dr Chua stated that it is unlikely Hee will win. The TMI article bylined to Clara Chooi flips it to say that Hee “will likely lose”.
While the TMI assistant news editor has not deviated the meaning, she nonetheless imposed her own negativity on Dr Chua’s original phrasing (a parallel analogy: a half glass of water can be viewed as either half empty or half full).
(2) TMI concludes Dr Chua as “distancing his party from the former DAP leader”. This is the portal’s interpretation. Dr Chua did not himself indicate so.
(3) TMI adds that Hee “was instrumental in Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) fall in Perak”.
However, it conveniently forgets to mention Anwar Ibrahim’s prior act of embracing the Bota state assemblyman who had jumped from Umno to PKR. Furthermore, the de facto Ketua Umum openly welcomed more BN reps to cross over.
Bear in mind it was Anwar and Pakatan who initiated the Adun poaching in Perak, not BN.
The Bota Adun was equally culpable but the pro-Pakatan media would prefer not to recall Anwar’s own edifying turn in the whole rigmarole.
(4) TMI then has this paragraph:
Dr Chua never made any reference to “most hated woman in Perak”. This bit was interpolated by TMI‘s Clara Chooi.
Below is how he phrased it:
If such – i.e. inserting a label calling Hee Yit Foong someone “who was once described as the ‘most hated woman in Perak’,” – is the journalistic path preferred by TMI, then may we by the same token request that any future TMI articles on Nurul Izzah should carry the following tag:
“Nurul, who was once described as the ‘most childish politician in Malaysia’.”
(See quote attributed to the head of Dewan Ulama PAS — below).
After all, since TMI feels that “the most hated woman” is a valid expression for its news item, there can be no reason why “most childish politician” in a similar vein will fail to pass muster.
(5) The next paragraph in TMI reads:
“‘While Hee can announce that she is the candidate for Jelapang in the coming general election, without the support from the MCA division and especially the grassroots members, it is unlikely that she will win in the election,’ he warned her.”
Read Dr Chua’s press statement for yourself (below). Did he really “warn” Hee Yit Foong as TMI would have it? Or did he merely issue a press release to clarify MCA’s position?
You can compare TMI‘s 432-word report ‘MCA distances itself from Hee, says she will lose without BN blessing‘ with The Star‘s 234-word article titled ‘MCA: Barisan has not agreed to field Hee in Jelapang‘.
(6) The following paragraph in TMI:
“Hee is known for her role in the 2009 Perak constitutional crisis which saw the state in turmoil for nearly a year after her defection, and that of two other former PKR representatives, caused the former Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government’s fall from power.”
It is undoubtedly correct to pinpoint Hee’s role as well as that of the “two other former PKR representatives” – the Behrang and Changkat Jering assemblymen – in sparking the collapse of the Pakatan state government.
Nonetheless and once again, TMI omits to mention the Bota state assemblyman who started the domino chain by jumping from Umno to PKR and back to Umno again, all within a fortnight. The Bota Adun Nasarudin Hashim’s switching camp preceded Hee Yit Fong.
Ref. ‘Umno Perak assemblyman defects to PKR‘ — TMI, 25 Jan 2009
I’m afraid that TMI’s memory is selective.
(7) And more opinionated and partisan reporting from TMI:
“At the time, the former Perak assembly deputy was said to have left the DAP in a huff, after repeatedly complaining to have been sidelined in the state administration and left out of positions of power.”
TMI opines that Hee “left in a huff”.
A different viewpoint could venture that she “departed in sorrow” after having been bullied by her DAP colleagues the evangelical warlord cousins. Or one might even lament that she left after being betrayed by the party jettisoning its socialist principles by turning itself into a (Christian) clone of PAS.
The TMI closing paragraphs are just as subjective:
- “She turned into a BN-friendly independent following her defection, a decision that earned her harsh criticism from Jelapang voters […] She boasted that anger against her had dissipated…”
Uh-huh, being “BN-friendly” is not kosher. But anyone who’s Pakatan-friendly – such as recent Sabah trophies Lajim Ukin and Wilfred Bumburing – are considered rightly exercising “a vote of no confidence” in their former bosses, the BN.
Reps who jump from Pakatan to BN are confronted by “angry voters” (Clara Chooi’s words) and made “an outcast” (ditto, her words) but reps who jump in the opposite direction from BN to Pakatan have instead done everyone proud (Anwar Ibrahim’s words, see below).
The press statement by Dr Chua, verbatim:.
In response to the statement by incumbent Jelapang state assemblywoman Hee Yit Fong yesterday, MCA would like to clarify that the Party had not had any discussion with the Prime Minister about giving up the Jelapang state seat in Perak.
The Jelapang MCA division and I had neither deliberated about allowing an outsider to stand in the seat under the MCA ticket.
Winning the General Election requires the support from all Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties, it is crucial that the candidate receives support not just from the people, but also the component parties.
I must stress that BN is a collective decision-making coalition, it is never a norm for the coalition to talk about its seat allocation and candidacy openly.
While Hee can announce that she is the candidate for Jelapang in the coming General Election, without the support from the MCA division and especially the grassroots members, it is unlikely that she will win in the election. (318 words)