Reporters are supposed to be neutral and objective. In the Nest of Evangelistas, however, some of them clearly take sides, and are confrontational and provocative instead.
The J-Star reporter Nicholas Cheng came close to being attacked by the group of angry demonstrators at the Taman Medan church in Petaling Jaya.
BELOW: The Taman Medan church that put up a cross
Poor Christian reporter … having to live among the “intolerant” and “mindless”
I’m hardly surprised that Nicholas feared being beaten up, given his Dapster attitude. After all, he describes “the kind of Malaysia we live in [as] intolerant, mindless and sometimes unlivable”.
Nicholas furthermore characterized the Taman Medan protesters as possessing “sheer stupidity”.
“the sheer stupidity of those protesting” – Nicholas Cheng, J-Star reporter
His mocking putdown is typically one of a piece with the J-Star seniors who believe that certain communities in the country – i.e. those who voted to retain the status quo, are “stupid” – and those who fail to meet the paper’s ‘Moderation’ standards must be morons and “race-obsessed ignoramuses“.
I’m not really surprised either to learn that Nicholas is a Christian. After all, like I’ve said many times before, the EvangeliSTAR editorial floor is teeming with Christians.
See ‘Reporter saves colleague from anti-church protesters‘ (FMT, 20 April 2015)
“How will a cross turn your son into a Christian?”
According to the J-Star reporter’s own account of events shared in Facebook, there were only two journos covering the anti-cross protest – himself and a woman colleague from Sinar Harian.
Nicholas said in his FB posting (see screen capture above) that the protestors were angry because he had asked them the following questions:
- “What authority do you have to tell someone else to not have a church here?”
- “Who gives you the right to claim this land as Muslim land?”
- “How will a cross turn your son into a Christian?”
Nicholas complained that the enraged Malays grabbed him by the shirt and spoke to him “in a threatening manner”. He even feared that they would beat him up or do worse.
Sneaky Star pulls ‘urban’ tsunami trick again
Taman Medan is a predominantly Malay area but The J-Star would like its readers to believe that the Muslim residents there have “mixed feelings” about the church.
The vehemence of the anti-cricifix protest and its accompanying social media storm suggest on the contrary that many, many more Malays are feeling angry rather than sanguine about the new shoplot church popping up.
The MCA paper’s gambit is quite like how its editors had once been such eager beavers earnestly insisting that GE13 was an “urban” tsunami rather than a Chinese one.
Here and now, the Nest of Evangelistas is in denial that the Taman Medan Malays are disturbed and even outraged by the cross on the church. The J-Star prefers to peddle an alternative story that the residents are merely ambivalent.
Kalau tak putar, mereka bukan evangelista
I’m going to compare between the online copy of the J-Star news and video footage by its Internet TV and demonstrate to you the sneakiness of the EvangeliSTAR.
First, let’s examine the written article copy featuring interviews with Taman Medan residents (screenshot below) with regard to the cross on the shoplot church building. The J-Star report yesterday is headlined ‘Taman Medan residents have mixed views on church‘.
Click to enlarge
Four residents were quoted and their remarks featured in the J-Star report, as per the order below:
(1) Rosnah Mohd Yusof said – according to The J-Star – that she had no problem with the church operating there and that faith was a personal thing. “Everyone has their own beliefs and who are we to deny someone from practising their own religion.”
(2) Mat Tahir Abdul Rahman also pointed out that Malaysia is a multi-racial and multi-religious country, said The J-Star. “As long as they don’t disturb anyone, then I don’t see a problem. Those who are strong in their faith wouldn’t feel challenged by the sight of a cross.”
(3) Juraida Jaffar told The J-Star that most Muslim residents objected to the church. “We are afraid that our people will be influenced by their teachings. This is a Muslim area and the church doesn’t belong here. We strongly object to the church being here.”
She added that they would continue to demonstrate against the church if it continued operating there, said The J-Star.
(4) Asmadi Sulaiman said that the residents had objected to the church as it had started operating without informing anyone of its intentions, according to The J-Star.
“Most of the residents here are Muslims, so their views have to be taken into account.”
Asmadi said he personally had no problems with the church, according to The J-Star. However, he objects those who tried to propagate their religion through children. “My child who is only eight once brought home a pamphlet propagating another religion. I am really against that.”
“No problem” smoke and mirrors
A total of four residents were quoted by The J-Star for its story by Rashvinjeet S. Bedi. In summary, according to the MCA newspaper, the Taman Medan residents had said:
(1) No problem, said Rosnah, 50, who is a manager at a fast food outlet
(2) No problem, said Mat Tahir, 60, who is a van driver
(3) Strongly object, said Juraida, 48, who is a housewife
(4) No problem but don’t evangelize the children, said Asmadi, 37 (occupation not stated)
Three out of the four Malay residents quoted by the J-Star apparently said they have “no problem” with the church and its cross in their neighbourhood. All is good.
That’s how the MCA-owned paper chose to deliberately frame the situation for its readers – “no problem lah with the church and its cross” – despite the mini pandemonium which broke out at the venue.
Now let’s turn our attention to the 4-minute 40-seconds video below.
Video edited by J-Star but you can still catch fragments of the reporter’s leading questions
Chronological order in which the interviewees appeared in this J-Star Internet-TV clip
(1) Juraida – “memang bantah sekuat-kuatnya lah”
(2) Rosnah – “Tak ada apa-apa masalah”
(3) Zarin – “kita tak paham sangat” … “Bagi saya tak ada masalah”
(4) Richard – “This is very uncalled for”
(5) Asmadi – “benda ini membangkitkab kemarahan orang yang dekat sini” … “Mesti you kena bagitau” … “Masalah you terus buat”
(6) Vimala: “Kita tak ada masalah” [This Indian woman is referring to the practice of her religion – presumably Hinduism – which has not been disturbed]
(7) Mat Tahir: “Kalau dia punya orang dia saja, dia nak mempraktikkan agama dia, tak ada masalah lah.”
(8) Jalil: “Minta diturunkan dengan segera.”
(Transcript of the video footage can be read at the bottom of this page.)
Soooo vely sneaky, J-Star musang berbulu ayam
Comparing the ‘print’ version with the broadcast version
The J-Star report has been tweaked into pro-Christian propaganda, i.e. positive outlook on the church. A close comparison between the two versions – Rashvinjeet’s written copy and Nicholas’ broadcast reporting – shows where the paper has been a sly fox.
To recap, the ‘print’ copy of the story features four interviewees while leaving out another four (the Chinese man, the Indian woman and two Malay men) who appeared in the video.
The J-Star (written) report uploaded online starts with positive quotes from these two residents, Rosnah and Mat Tahir, who both ostensibly said “No problem” with regard to having the church around – well, at least according to the MCA Gubnting dalam Lipatan punya cerita lah.
The video footage places Mat Tahir as the seventh person to be interviewed. Yet the ‘print’ article bumps him up to No.2 in sequence, i.e. the second interviewee to be quoted. Your guess is as good as mine as to why.
Missing bits (I)
Mat Tahir, after some prodding from the broadcast journalist (Nicholas) mentioned that he does not mind the presence of the church. Nonetheless his response contained several caveats which the print journalist (Rashvinjeet) conveniently omitted when he wrote his story.
Mat Tahir had said, “Jangan kacau orang lain. Jangan dia kempen orang lain untuk masuk dia. Maksud kalau dia kempen orang Islam untuk masuk ke Kristian, itu satu salah lah juga. Kalau dia punya orang dia saja, dia nak mempraktikkan agama dia, tak ada masalah lah.”
The upshot is that Mat Tahir may be agreeable to the church but only on condition that the Christians do not attempt to proselytize to the Malays. The J-Star article failed to mention this salient caveat.
Missing bits (II)
The part where Asmadi said, “Jadi benda ini [penubuhan gereja] membangkitkan kemarahan orang yang dekat sini” is not mentioned in the J-Star ‘print’ copy.
On the other hand, the article quotes him as saying he personally had no problems with the church. This part [“tak ada masalah”] of his statement is not shown/missing from the video footage uploaded to the J-Star‘s Internet TV.
Shaping reader perception
The divergences between broadcast (film) and print versions detailed above are subtle but it is nonetheless the editor’s prerogative as to how he wishes to cast his narrative of the event.
If Utusan is constantly accused as being biased towards Umno and the Malay Muslims, then it is equally not amiss for us to claim that the J-Star is biased towards DAP and the Chinese Christians.
Out of a total of eight interviews – there may be more or others that ended up on the cutting room floor (we don’t know) – but in any case, the J-Star article employing its editorial discretion only drew on four.
Nevertheless, what’s striking and without any doubt is the J-Star‘s pro-Christian framing. The two excerpts with which the reporter/editor chose to lead off the story are:
Rosnah: (i) no problem with the church operating there, (ii) faith was a personal thing, (iii) who are we to deny someone from practising their own religion
Mat Tahir: (i) Malaysia is a multi-racial and multi-religious country [missing from the video], (ii) no problem if they don’t disturb anyone, (iii) Those who are strong in their faith wouldn’t feel challenged by the sight of a cross
Words nicely wrapped in the Bangsa Malaysia package and tied with a Malaysian Firster ribbon.
What’s the intended impression on the J-Star reader? He reads this article and the first paragraphs convey to him – three out of four Malays have “no problem” with the church.
ABOVE: It was the MALAYS who took part in the pro-Palestine rally
J-Star worthy of Goebbels Award
Some of you may recall a similar sleight of hand in the J-Star‘s coverage of the anti-Israel rally at Dataran Merdeka last August.
The MCA paper reporting on the event had titled their news report, ‘Malaysians of all faiths and races gather to condemn Israel’s actions’ which is far from the truth. It was the Malays and the Muslims mostly who bothered to turn up to stand with Gaza – see my previous article where I’ve compiled dozens of photos of the crowd which was a sea of Malay faces.
“What was glaring was the lack of support from non-Malays”, reported eyewitness Nuraina Samad, the former NST managing editor who’s a prominent blogger.
BELOW: The J-Star was brazenly bluffing when it claimed that Malaysians of “all faiths and races” had gathered to support the Palestinians. It was the MUSLIMS who participated mainly
J-Star deserves trophy for being so tricky
Apart from the MCA paper’s sneaky misrepresentation in the very first paragraph that “Malaysians of various faiths and races braved the sweltering heat at Dataran Merdeka” to support the Palestinians, the Nest of Evangelistas also gave the (false) impression that a lot of non-Muslims attended.
Clearly the Stand With Gaza rally had comprised mostly Muslim groups. Video here, see for yourself.
Yet strangely, the J-Star reporter did NOT interview any Muslim group for his story. Instead the very first person the paper interviewed was a representative from the Council of Churches Malaysia’s youth wing! Talk about chutzpah in claiming undeserved credit.
The J-Star Gaza report on the rally totalled 13 paragraphs. Four out of the 13 paragraphs were devoted to what this Christian chap had to say, despite that fact that the rally participants were almost all Muslims – screenshot of the J-Star page below.
And to rub salt into the Muslim wound, the Council of Churches rep going by the un-Malaysian sounding name of ‘Desonny Tuzan’ was prominently highlighted as early as the fourth paragraph of the story.
The deliberately distorted picture painted by the J-Star is for the purpose of elevating the Christians and downgrading the role of the Muslims. The pattern is too obvious to miss. Likewise the paper’s coverage of the protest against the Taman Medan church.
Let’s now compare with how the Malay press reported the anti-church protest.
Click to enlarge
J-Star‘s transparent Christian agenda
It’s notable that the J-Star’s main interviewees for the story cited above is 60-year-old van driver who is not particularly articulate and did not speak in English as well as a 48-year-old housewife and a 50-year-old manager at a fast food outlet.
Meanwhile the Sinar Harian article when the story first broke quoted Datuk Prof. Abdullah Abu Bakar, Datuk Mat Sah Abu Anas and former Petaling Jaya Selatan Wanita Umno chief Munaliza Hamzah. The Sinar Harian interviewees expressed their views much more strongly than did the J-Star interviewees.
Datuk Mat Sah was quoted by SH as saying, “tolonglah turunkan lambang salib di bangunan itu, hormatlah majoriti komuniti Islam di sini” while Datuk Abdullah said, “pihak mereka juga disarankan untuk menjaga sensitiviti penduduk di sini”. The Wanita Umno (Puan Munaliza) said, “kami berpendapat tak ada keperluan lambang salib dipacakkan di sini”.
The two sets of interviewees – speaking to The J-Star and Sinar Harian – provided a different and contrasting tone.
Sack the MCA!
A glance at the some of the related J-Star headlines following up on the Taman Medan brouhaha will reveal the MCA’s backstabbing agenda clear as daylight.
MCA is more DAP than the DAP in going on a warpath over this issue.
The opposition slant of the J-Star stories below only goes to prove conclusively what I’ve been saying all along – that the MCA paper is a Nest of Evangelistas.
- MCA wants action against ‘cross’ protesters
(1) Juraida Jaffar: “Kita orang memang sebulat suara memang tak setuju lah church dibuat dekat situ. Memang sebab sini kawasan majoriti Melayu dan India kan. Memang dia orang tak kan setuju. Sebab mungkin ia akan buat macam, ya lah, sekarang ini banyak orang kata pengaruh-pengaruh yang orang kata banyak agama Islam ini dia lari daripada landasan, kan, jadi saya takut anak Melayu kita terikut (cut – editing by The J-Star). Yang mungkin orang yang tak kuat iman itu, mungkin dia terpesong kan. Jadi kita memang tak mau lah, memang orang kata memang bantah sekuat-kuatnya lah. Memang tak dibenarkan the church letak sini.
(2) Rosnah Mohd Yusof: “Itu hati masing-masing lah, kan. Kalau benda tu kalau letak di mana-mana pun kalau hati itu kita nak pergi pun sama aje kan. Tak ada apa-apa masalah, bagi makcik lah. Tak tau lah orang lain kan.”
(3) Zarin Hashim: “Tak tau nak cakap lah benda ni. Pasal kita tak paham sangat kan. Kalau saya satu orang cakap boleh, orang lain cakap tak boleh pun tak guna juga. Bagi saya tak ada masalah.”
(4) Richard Gan: “This is very uncalled for. Sadly lah I believe ah this is not the way we should live lah our society lah. This is not the way.”
(5) Asmadi Sulaiman: “Sebab benda ini sekarang ini macam ini tau. Kita majoriti penduduk kat sini Islam, dan yang India ada lah tapi tak ramai lah, kan. Majoriti Muslim.
Okay, jadi benda ni, you boleh letak sana pun, you tak ada announcement tau. Haar, takde. Sama ada penduduk sini majoriti ada Kristian ke, bersetuju atau tidak, tak ada.
Jadi benda ini membangkitkan kemarahan orang yang dekat sini ya. Sebab biasanya kita walaupun you nak dirikan kuil atau masjid pun, kita akan buat announcement dulu. Sekarang ni tak ada. Mesti you kena bagitau, kena dia bagi announcement dulu. Ini sekarang takde. Masalah you terus buat.
Penduduk kat sini you tengok sekarang majoriti apa, ugama apa kan. Macam sini Singh sendiri pun kat belakang ada buat. Tapi ada announcement. [Lokasi] Dekat Seri Manja. [Kuil] besar juga tapi ada announcement.
Orang tak bantah sebab you bagi tahu dulu – setuju atau tidak, kan. Kita tengok majoriti macam mana, penduduk.”
(6) M. Vimala: “Kita tak ada masalah lah. Semua ada sembahyang kan. Kita tak ada masalah. Tapi dia punya masalah, dia buat apa pun tak tahu. Kenapa dia nak gaduh, kenapa dia buat itu macam, halau, tak tau lah. Kita tak ada masalah lah. Kita semua sembahyang juga, tak ada masalah.”
(7) Mat Tahir Abdul Rahman: “Kalau buat gereja situ, dia punya ugama, dia punya hal lah masing-masing kan. Ugama masing-masing. Kalau dia tak ganggu orang lain punya ugama, tak ada masalah, bagi saya lah.
“Kalau kita kuat pegang agama, takkan lah memesong. Kalau Islam, dia pegang agama Islam sendiri, dia tak akan memesong lah ugama dia. Kalau dia betul-betul berpegang kepada agama Islam sendiri, walaupun gereja di sebelah dia pun, dia tak akan kacau. Betul tak? Bagi pendapat saya dari segi agama Islam lah. Dia tak akan kacau.
“Kita ugama masing-masing, bebas lah kan. Jangan kacau orang lain. Jangan dia kempen orang lain untuk masuk dia. Maksud kalau dia kempen orang Islam untuk masuk ke Kristian, itu satu salah lah juga. Kalau dia punya orang dia saja, dia nak mempraktikkan agama dia, tak ada masalah lah.”
(8) Jalil Abdullah: “Ada orang komplen lah. Ada orang tak mau agama letak palang salib itu. Tak mau itu saja. Minta diturunkan dengan segera. Semalam turun dengan segera lah. Tak ada kecoh apa-apa pun. Tapi pihak polis apapun semalam polis pun ramai.”