Archive for August 8th, 2008

Will the media coverage be against ‘the order of nature’?

Now that the whole world knows that Anwar Ibrahim, the man who is scheduled to contest in the forthcoming by-election in Permatang Pauh, has just been charged with sodomy the second time around in ten years, one of the questions that begs to be asked, at least by jaded people like me, is, will the mainstream media splash stains and mud of the second sodomy case on us poor souls?


In other words, will there be supposedly protruding evidence that will be paraded and reported for all and sundry to see to the extent that we Malaysians consequently become the butt of jokes for the rest of the world?


Worse still, will the media put the accused man on trial as they apparently did in the first sodomy case? Will the case be reported in a manner that aims to publicly cast aspersions upon him prior to the conclusion of the court trial?


Will the media reportage of the trial be pitched to the point that other important issues of public interest are deliberately sidelined or eclipsed? In short, would there be an attempt at ideological or political diversion?


For instance, would there be an endeavour to lull Malaysians with sensational reporting of the trial so that they forget to ask hard questions such as, why did people who make statutory declarations, such as Pusrawi Hospital doctor, Dr Mohamed Osman Abdul Hamid, and private eye Bala, ‘disappear’ after issuing them?


Wouldn’t this inexplicable ‘disappearing’ phenomenon, among others, lend credence to Anwar Ibrahim’s claim that the current sodomy charge was politically motivated?


This brings to mind the ‘advice’ given to Malaysia’s mainstream media and new media users by Information Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek recently, i.e. ‘not to link the Permatang Pauh parliamentary by-election with the sodomy charge against Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as they are different matters’.


Can one comfortably draw a line between the current sodomy case and the by-election when there are things hitherto unexplained that compel one to wonder whether the two are indeed inseparable?