Before his plagiarism was discovered, Brendan Pereira received an e-mail from a reader who must have puked after reading the plagiarist's piece. The Datin wrote:
Dear Mr Pereira
I refer to your column of 30 October 2006.
It's amazing how you and your colleagues in NST are launching a concerted campaign against Tun Mahathir under the guise of love for the country and deep nostalgia for things past. It's staggering how much voice is vested in journalists like you who, like many unthinking politicians, use their privileged positions to sway the unsettled emotions of the people.
When it is your duty and mandate to present information fairly and as objectively as you possibly can, newspaper people like you prefer to be prejudiced and biased. When you can bring about positive change in attitudes and morals among Malaysians, you are in fact exacerbating what we do not like about ourselves, namely our pettiness and backbiting and hitting below the belt. Instead of trying to abate rising political temperatures, you are adding fuel to fire! When you should present reasoned argumentation you are resorting to melodramatic interpretation!
Malaysians, young and old, must be allowed to think for themselves and assess their leaders without instigation and incitement. We know what we see and hear, do not doubt that! Do not patronise us by filling the newspapers we pay for with emotional hype!
Executive Editor Kamrul Idris responded to say that the NST was not going to publish her letter because she was emotional, judging by the number of exclamation marks she used in her mail. He suggested that she, instead, writes to the Times of London (which carries an NST-like editorial against Dr M today):
It would be helpful if you were a bit more specific about your substantive objections to Brendan's column, instead of appearing emotional yourself (which I detect from the number of exclamation marks in your e-mail). If we were to publish letters to the editor about how newspapers should be run or what columnists should write about, we would have to be prepared for 25 million different responses. I agree that we have to approach the Mahathir insurrection with cooler heads, so here is the Times' Oct 30 editorial about him:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,542-2427977,00.html. Perhaps you might care to drop them a note, too.
TTDI, 29 Nov: They are cutting the trees again in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, once one of the greenest housing estates in KL. Well, it probably ...
Amirudin is trying to silence (me) with the lawsuits - Razak Ismail, Green Party sec-gen Damansara, 30 July: I don’t quite understand why...
Wed, 5 April: Some Malaysians don’t think much of memoranda of understanding and that’s quite, er, understandable. For there was a time whe...