Charles Santiago calls out ‘racist’ GE15 reporting by Awesome TV, urges MCMC action

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 6 — Incumbent Klang MP Charles Santiago today criticised a news clip by broadcast station Awesome TV on the 15th general election (GE15), and urged regulator Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to take action.

Commenting on the 1.41-minute video news clip, he said: “This reporting is racist to the core & seems planted to create fear ahead of GE15. News must be accurate & truthful as it influences public perception. Suruhanjaya Komunikasi dan Multimedia Malaysia (MCMC) needs to act urgently.”

“No media should become the stooge for the government. It’s a huge disservice to the country & its people. This is a crucial GE as the country’s future is at stake. So I urge media folks to be bold and honest as they are answerable to the people.

“To maintain the integrity of journalism, the media industry must come together to stand up against manufactured content. Awesome TV station is behaving unscrupulously, and this must be condemned,” he concluded.

The video clip saw the Awesome TV newscasters urging ethnic Malay voters to come out to vote in GE15 if they do not want political power to allegedly come under the control of “other races” if Pakatan Harapan (PH) wins and to prevent Malay interests from being sidelined, basing their caution on a study which found that 80 per cent of ethnic Chinese Malaysians who answered the survey intend to come out to vote.

In the video clip, the newscasters did not explain their assertion of why an election victory by the multi-racial PH would translate into political power coming under the control of “other races”, but instead urged Malays to learn from the PH government’s alleged failure to defend the interests of the ethnic Malay community which form the majority of Malaysia’s ethnic composition during their 22-month rule.

The Awesome TV newscasters stressed the need for a high turnout from Malay voters which they said could change Malaysia’s future “especially for Malay interests”, and said Malay voters need to make wise decisions by choosing representatives from parties that are able to form power and form Cabinets capable of “taking care of the public especially the Malays”.

The newsclips by Awesome TV did not mention nuanced details such as the fact that the ethnic Chinese voters in the survey who intended to come out to vote had different political inclinations, with some supporting Barisan Nasional (BN), Perikatan Nasional (PN) and Muda and not necessarily Pakatan Harapan.

BN along with PN were heading the federal administration before GE15, while PH and Muda are federal opposition parties.

PH is multiracial and features the parties of PKR, DAP, Parti Amanah Negara and Sabah-based party United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation (Upko) and had already designated PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as its prime minister candidate if it wins GE15.

The survey was carried out by Huayan Policy Institute in partnership with O2 Research Malaysia, Ilham Centre and five media outlets — Sinar Harian, The Star, Sin Chew Daily, Astro Awani and Malaysia Nanban, with 2,354 ethnic Chinese voters polled in the survey — 2,061 who answered online and 293 in-person interviews carried out in PH-held Bukit Gelugor in Penang, PN-held Sungai Besar in Selangor, BN-held Ayer Hitam in Johor.

The survey findings found that 80 per cent of the Chinese voters polled will or most likely will vote in GE15, with 9 per cent saying they will not or most likely will not vote and 11 per cent saying they were not sure.

The survey found that the ethnic Chinese respondents who were PH supporters were most likely to come out to vote at 69.36 per cent, followed by Muda supporters at 54.22 per cent, BN supporters at 49.29 per cent, and PN supporters at 39.39 per cent.