I can say that Hata Wahari, who was fired by Utusan had nothing to lose really from being fired. In fact, when he started spilling the beans about the "behind the scenes" on Utusan's print, at least it tells us of what I really feel that it isn't 1Malaysia - in fact it goes the opposite of 1Malaysia thing. The problem is, since we are forewarned is that the "makcik and pakcik" Felda might find it hard or refuse to believe that Utusan is spewing inaccurate things - hence Hata was saying "brushing off Utusan in rural would be a bad idea".
“But the rural community is predominantly Malay-Muslim. Who are they going to cross-check their facts with? Neither is there another Malay-language paper to counter Utusan’s reports. The only media they are exposed to is government-owned media.”
I guess that is the question mark on how to get rural people to wake up and understand rather than day dreaming really. "To counter Utusan reports" - can PAS take up and crank the effort to debunk whatever Utusan says?
What's interesting is the process of how UMNO creates an issue, and then instructions are relayed to the current editor-in-chief Aziz Ishak. I guess this is how the pseudonym of Awang Selamat come into place as well.
The swing in Utusan Malaysia’s stance came shortly after the 2008 election when Khalid was replaced by Aziz Ishak. According to Hata, the latter does not question the editorial directives set by the Umno political bureau which reportedly sits every Monday night to discuss the paper’s agenda for the week.
Those present are the president Najib Tun Razak, deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin, the three vice-presidents – Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Hishamuddin Hussein and Shafie Apdal – secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and information chief Ahmad Maslan.
The agenda is then communicated to Utusan Malaysia’s editor-in-chief via the prime minister’s office. The paper will run an issue for three days before dropping it completely unless it receives strong public support from top BN ministers.
It’s a clever strategy because by the third day the other media would have snapped it up to continue milking it, which would leave Utusan Malaysia free to start the ball rolling on another issue.
The political bureau meeting part is very interesting. See this is ain't really 1Malaysia as they keep screaming. A shame for Najib really as he as the party lead has to take care of his own people there as well. The problem for him is dealing with hawks in the party. So Aziz Ishak, unlike his predecessor Khalid Mohd, doesn't have the much control and finesse over the editorial content.
It sounds not really 1Malaysia if you have one hand Utusan gets away with a slap on the wrist and instead Zunar's cartoon books gets a heavy-hand action in the form of banning it because of its satirical nature. I just don't understand why the government can't stand hard-hitting criticism and rather prefer to close their ears and listen to those "sweeting news".
If 1Malaysia talks about racial equality then care to explain why house buying is also segregating for Bumis and non-Bumis? Are we actually kow towing to those who scream of racial divides a.l.a Perkasa? Look at that example above and see for yourself.
Hata once said that the sales in urban areas for Utusan are going down and down. The saving grace for them is ads, main subscribers being government agencies and rural areas. But have most of us really realized the full reality of the situation?
This FMT comment highlights some of the points:
Utusan Malaysia is not racist; instead it is propagating an even worse mind-set –xenophobia or an excessive fear of strangers. Is Utusan Malaysia referring to those who are not Malays as strangers?
This is what Utusan Malaysia seems to want to propagate in Malaysia – a sense that anything not-Malay is fair game for persecution and blame
Any advancement by another race is seen as a threat to the position of the Malays at large.
And Utusan Malaysia prides itself on being the voice of the Malays, the bastion of strength that guards the interest of the Malays and any seeming jibes at Malay interests are attacked with fiery fervour.
If like Utusan, UMNO claims to represent all Malays, then perhaps they might want to rethink the big talk. It actually don't really work. Not all have the same opinion as they do. If you take a look at the fracas at the Sentul mosque over the sumpah laknat that Eskay did, you can see two main groups that clashed had different opinions. This justifies the wrong claim.
Does it lean to Najib's tagline isn't it or actually otherwise, yes?