Wong Chun Wai’s biased opinionated journalism

This is a follow up on an earlier article “Wong Chun Wai’s opinion on better democracy of press”, first published here on Wednesday, 9 May 2007, based on Wong Chun Wai own’s ‘On The Beat”, “Do Away With Archaic Laws“. It seems that Sufi Yusoff, Media and PR Liaision Officer of Perdana Leadership Foundation, had written to the Editor of the Star’s News Desk on 8 May 2007, as reciprocity to the same issue:

This is Sufi’s letter transmitted via e mail:

The Editor,


May 8, 2007

Dear Sir,

Re: Do Away With Archaic Laws – On the Beat

I read with interest the above article which appeared in On The Beat, Sunday Star, May 6, 2007.

2. I find it intriguing that the writer is calling on the Government to do away with certain “archaic” laws that he says are stifling Press freedom in Malaysia.

3. I appreciate the writer recognising the emergence of bloggers as a source of information, a viewpoint that I personally share alongside the emergence of internet-based media.

4. What I find amusing is while declaring that under the current administration there is greater democratic space and tolerance for dissent, the writer picks on “political players who had suppressed the media when they were in power”.

“Many of these figures lack the credibility to talk about press freedom and when they do so, they smack of hypocrisy.

Some are turning to the new media and have complained about media blackout when they, too, had used the same tactics to shut out their opponents,” says the writer.

5. Who are these “political players”? The writer must be specific in this era of the “freer media”. But to be realistic Press freedom is subjective. What may be free to some may not be free to others.

6. When two editors of mainstream English daily (not The Star) wrote two separate factually wrong articles about a certain subject and since it came under my responsibility to correct those errors as a party directly affected by their error, the editors chose not to publish my clarification. Nor did they bother to apologise.

7. But the reporting error committed would have affected the judgement of readers towards the subject at hand. Can I then assume that there is freedom to publish untruth or half-truths and freedom to deny the aggrieved party recourse? I have to mention that it was the bloggers and internet media that later published both letters. And these were the only avenue left for me to put across the facts in the face of refusal from the mainstream media.

8. Within media organisations, Press freedom, I believe exists only within the spheres of perception of editors or the ultimate decision maker, who may or may not be the editor i.e. owner, chairman etc.

9. Editors, I believe, should continuously push the freedom barrier or parameter less they be contented with the way things are.

10. If I may ask about the situation before this current administration, how many times did the writer or any other editor in The Star receive directives that amounted to a curtailment of their freedom from the political player/players? Were there directives dished out not to highlight certain politicians or certain issues by the political players/player? Were there directives to blackout the opposition by the political players? Were there any prohibitive directives at all or were they mere perception, perception that certain items may not be compliant with the wants of the political player therefore it should not be published?

11. Answers to these questions are important to show if the media is actually more free today or whether it is mere perception.

Not to push the barrier, to stay “compliant” only to complaint and grouse about the lack of freedom later would, as the writer put it, smack of hypocrisy.

Yours Sincerely,

Sufi Yusoff


Dato Wong Chun Wai
Deputy Group Chief Editor
The Star Publications Sdn Bhd


Its is only fair that The Star publish Sufi’s letter in response to Wong Chun Wai’s article. So when the Press Democracy is discussed in this flavour, Wong Chun Wai chose to refuse to extend the professional journalistic courtesy for Sufi to have his say. So much can be said about Press Democracy from how Wong Chun Wai treated this episode.

Eventually, Sufi had to produce this letter through the blogs. The content and how the issue is being presented says it all. It is never the intention for blogs to “steal the thunder” from mainstream media like The Star but this biasness on opinionated journalism will widen the gap between the Bloggosphere and mainstream media.

Published in: on May 14, 2007 at 12:33  Comments (7)  

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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Here you are, Wong Chun Wai used to say “What is wrong with Ali Baba partnership?”, “Why isn’t it good?”

    I have posted it in Malaysia Today in the past. You can read what I wrote here:

    Fairy Tales and Reality: Similarities and Differences of ALI BABA :

    Oh yeah, Wong Chun Wai is a Dato, yeah? How did he get it, anyway? Wong Chun Wai, we know who is the major shareholder of The Star. We know who is Wong Chun Wai’s boss.

    Malaysia has Press Freedom? Give me a break…

  2. Try going to china & see what happen

  3. If you really need to see the illogical thinking of crazys in malaysian society, read Wong Chun Wai’s articles. He does not make sense. In my opinion, MGG Pillai was a great journalist, cant really be said for Wong. I cant believe Wong is still let free with his anti-Islam and anti-Malay rhetoric. I can imagine in my head, Wong carrying a placard saying “Melayu kasi habis” in KL in May 1969. People like Wong Chun Wai should be in jail.

  4. […] made some really major ‘boo-boos’. One was exposed on plagiarism. The other one, who practiced gross biasness in journalism, was highlighted on his ‘ass-kissing’ism. Another one, lied! (He definitely lied a year […]

  5. […] of a major English daily practicing plagiarism, Chairman of the same major English daily lied and biasness of a Chief Editor in his weekly major English daily […]

  6. Wong chun wai is not a journalist. He stopped being a journalist a long time ago. He is nothing more than a mouth piece of the MCA and a bad at that. Nobody reads the Star anymore. Its not worth the paper its printed on.

  7. Wong Chun Wai’s face makes me puke. He’s balless e-diot. Sia sooi the chinese and journalists.

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