"Tetapi reaksi terbaru Sin Chew ini tidak boleh Awang diamkan. Apakah mereka sahaja berhak untuk mengkritik akhbar Melayu dan apabila kita menyanggah pandangan berhubung isu-isu tertentu, Utusan dianggap rasis. Sedangkan jika dibuat kajian bebas, pasti jawapannya ialah akhbar Cinalah yang rasis." - Utusan Malaysia
"If Chinese publishers are so useless, perhaps we should enlist the help of Malay publishing groups!" - Sin Chew
Who's more racist, now? The editorial exchanges between Utusan Malaysia, the Umno-owned and leading Malay daily, and Sin Chew, which belongs to the largest Chinese media group in Malaysia, may be viewed by some in the context of media freedom.
Some may view it as part of a general breakdown in the raison d'etre of Malaysian journalism, as editors serve masters other than the people.
In any case, it's not a pretty sight. And all's not well with race relations in Malaysia.
Extracts, translated from Kenapa Sin Chew melatah? by Awang Selamat in today's Mingguan Utusan, the Sunday edition of Utusan Malasia:"The writer [a university professor] merely revealed that several main Chinese-language dailies did not provide for a balanced view when debating the issues. It is strange that both articles [by the professor], which are laden with factual findings, have triggered an emotional backlash from the Chinese dailies. Both articles [by the professor] mentioned no newspaper by name but the most emotional response had come from Sin Chew. Agaknya siapa yang makan cili merasa lebih pedas. Kenapa cepat melatah?"
Awang Selamat rants on, saying that for a while now the Chinese papers (this time naming Sin Chew in particular) have been publishing negative articles about the Malay papers, including Utusan, but the Malay papers did not react. There was no need to, writes Awang, because the media were not created media wars."But Awang can't remain silent with regards to Sin Chew's latest reaction. [Sin Chew] thinks it is their sole right to critictize the Malay newspapers and when Utusan reacts to their criticism we are are regarded racists. Whereas, if an independent study is made, it will certainly find that it is the Chinese newspapers that are racists".
"All of a sudden Utusan Malaysia begins to get concerned about Chinese newspapers. The media group made a special effort to probe the contents of Chinese papers published between 8 and 13 June, and discovered that these newspapers did not accept the mainstream thoughts of the country, still living in their own world and failing to see the prevailing environment!
"To these patriots, Chinese newspapers are good for nothing where nation-building is concerned, unlike Utusan Malaysia which has since the colonial days been fighting for independence, changing the destiny of the Malays, and consolidating the leadership of the same."
To visit Awang Selamat, click here. His latest article on Sin Chew, however, is not on-line yet.