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So who is meek and who is evil now?

By TAY TIAN YAN
Translated by DOMINIC LOH
Sin Chew Daily

"Secret societies infiltrating the PPS?"

Several members of the Penang "Voluntary Patrol Force" (I have put the terms within inverted commas in view of its questionable legitimacy) openly assaulted resident Ong Eu Soon. The above questioned was forwarded by a reporter to state executive councilor Phee Boon Poh, who is responsible for the PPS, during a press conference.

There was nothing special about the question, one that any Penangite would have thought about. Only those having some clue to this question would not ask it.

Of course, if we are not that forgetful, we should still remember that one of PPS members even beat up a reporter some time ago, claiming after committing the crime that he was the "CM's man." The perpetrator was later indicted, convicted and expelled from the PPS. But the weird thing is, the same guy was spotted putting on PPS uniform not too long ago.

To the state government, the question appears to be a big taboo, as it hits the state administration right at the heart.

Phee was instantly stoned, asking the reporter why he had forwarded such a question.

As a senior journalist, I can answer Phee's question why that embarrassing had to be asked.

From what we already know, the PPS has never been registered and a big question mark therefore hangs over its legality; on numerous occasions its members have been seen assaulting unarmed citizens and reporters; it has recruited thousands of members of dubious backgrounds; it lacks the legal standing to execute its enforcement power which according to the country's laws is only granted to the police and other specific bodies. As if that is not enough, it has been widely rumored that someone in PPS is associated with the secret societies.

With so many doubts unanswered, shouldn't it be reason enough for the reporter to pose the question whether the secret societies have already made their way into the PPS?

Moreover, what was put forward was not an allegation but just a simple question. What are reporters for if they don't ask questions?

This question is of utmost importance. If a state government is somehow linked to the secret societies, allowing their members to put on the uniform and enforce the law.

As a matter of fact, Mr Phee does not need to get mad over this. All that he needs to do is to give a clear "yes" or "no" answer.

If chief minister Lim Guan Eng has the slightest legal concept and fundamental sense of responsibility, he should instruct his legal advisors to study the legality of the PPS and find out whether this organization has indeed been infiltrated by secret societies.

Unfortunately, the CM's response was: Chinese newspaper reporters will only take on the kind and meek and fear the evil.

So who is meek and who is evil now?

Could a small reporter summon enough courage to bully the powerful CM and his exco?

How about secret societies and gang members. Do we call them kind or evil?

LGE has knowingly wanted to make Chinese newspapers a personal tool he can manipulate to his advantage, and would not spare any effort to serve stern warnings or call for boycott if they don't dance to his tune.

As for the CM's press secretary Cheong Yin Fan, despite her background as a former Chinese newspaper journalist, she would try to cite all kinds of inaccurate information to justify her boss' accusation towards the Chinese press, even calling the Chinese journalists' association and the press club "foxes that have exposed their tails."

Like her boss, she has resorted to making Umno and Perkasa her convenient targets for accusing Chinese newspaper reporters of hitting out specifically at DAP and sparing Umno.

To be frank, the Chinese press has never been lenient to each and every instance cited by press secretary Cheong. Don't tell he she is not contended with just this as if she wanted reporters to behave like PPS members when dealing with Umno.

It is unbecoming for her to demonize her former colleagues as "foxes that have exposed their tails." How said that a talented young lady groomed and trained by the Chinese press could end up this way.

We don't know of any other individuals who would slam the Chinese newspapers this hard like CM Lim and his men. And indeed none others that we know of could possibly stretch our tolerance this far.

Penang's journalism fraternity wants a public hearing, and has invited CM Lim, exco Phee et al to attend. I absolutely agree that this is a very open and fair way of doing things. We want the world to know that who is the fox that fears the evil and takes advantage of the meek.

 

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