The heads and tails of the matter

by Eyes Wide Open

One of the earliest to break the cow’s head protest story was the Malaysian Insider. Their report was complete with photos, motives and names of the protest leaders. It also did not cringe from some pretty grisly shots of the cows head.

However the MSM only saw fit to present the highly provocative protest as something of a non-event. The NST published a photo of some people holding a protest banner (one of the tame ones), while the Star only mentioned the protest in passing with a small 2-column, page bottom article in the last few pages of the national news section. Neither one mentioned the cow’s head or the protestors’ bloodthristy threats.

Utusan Malaysia has this to say in its Saturday edition:

200 penduduk bantah bina kuil

Kira-kira 200 penduduk Seksyen 23 di sini dan beberapa ahli badan bukan kerajaan (NGO) hari ini berarak ke Bangunan Setiausaha Kerajaan Negeri (SUK) sebagai tanda membantah cadangan pembinaan kuil di kawasan itu.

Perarakan itu merupakan simbolik kepada usaha penduduk di kawasan tersebut mempertahankan pendirian mereka.

Kumpulan itu mula berkumpul di Masjid Negeri selepas selesai solat Jumaat. Mereka kemudian berarak kira-kira 500 meter menuju ke bangunan SUK sambil membawa sepanduk melahirkan rasa tidak puas hati terhadap kerajaan negeri.

Selepas beberapa pemimpin kumpulan itu menyuarakan rasa tidak puas hati mereka, kumpulan tersebut bersurai secara aman kira-kira 3 pukul petang.

The article then goes on to highlight the residents’ grouses and reasons why they don’t want the temple in Section 23 Shah Alam. The article also has this quote:

Pengerusi Badan Bertindak Penduduk Seksyen 23, Ahmad Mahyuddin Manaf berkata, perarakan tersebut bertujuan menggesa kerajaan negeri membatalkan pembinaan kuil di kawasan mereka dan memindahkannya ke Seksyen 22 di sini yang merupakan lokasi asal rumah ibadat tersebut.

Besides the obvious padding of the numbers (200 protestors instead of 50, 500m walk instead of 300m) it wasn’t surprising that it followed what seems to be the official line across the board – no cow’s head, standing up for Muslim rights, PR is a lousy government.

Nothing surprising there. While some may argue that selective reporting could do much to diffusing the situation, others would argue that the country has a right to know what mischief some people are up to. But that’s a story for another day.

Not surprisingly also, many senior UMNO leaders have spoken out against the protestor’s blatant insult to Hindus, most notably our Prime Minister DS Najib. He’d better seeing that he stepped into Batu Caves for a festival featuring a 50-foot poster of him!

However, what is surprising is the English-language UMNO mouthpiece NST featuring this report in its Sunday edition:

Residents deny cow head role

(NST) SHAH ALAM: The Section 23 Residents’ Association Action Committee is not involved in the cow head incident, said its chairman Ahmad Mahyuddin Abdul Manaf.

He denied claims that the committee placed the head of a cow outside the state secretariat building here in protest against the relocation of a temple.

“Many people thought the committee was responsible but I do not know who the perpetrators are. I am shocked over what happened.”

Hm? How can this be? It was widely reported that inflammatory speeches were given by this man and his deputy. The Malaysian insider quotes:

I challenge YB Khalid, YB Rodziah and Xavier Jeyakumar to go on with the temple construction. I guarantee bloodshed and racial tension will happen if this goes on, and the state will be held responsible,” shouted Ibrahim Haji Sabri amid strong chants of “Allahu Akbar!”

Ibrahim identified himself as the Deputy Chairman of the Resident’s Committee against the building of the temple in S23 here, which is perceived by some as being a Muslim majority area.

Well, Mahyuddin’s DEPUTY CHAIRMAN, Ibrahim certainly didn’t seem shocked as he was happily stepping on the cow’s head as he uttered those words. You can watch the proceedings in the Malaysiakini video here. It clearly shows Mahyuddin, Ibrahim and others stepping on the cows head like hunters with a successful safari kill. Ibrahim is also heard saying that this was their gift to the PR state govt.

So what’s going on?

The online news portals and blogs are awash with the grisly and provocative details of the protest. The MSM merely mentions it in passing. And now, the NST publishes a bald-faced denial by the protest organiser about the cow’s head – even though no cow’s head had ever been mentioned in the MSM before?

Why the disconnect? It might seem confusing at first…until we step back. Then we can begin to identify a pattern.

  1. Stories of the cow head protest were spreading like wildfire in the evening of Friday 28 August.
  2. On Saturday, the MSM seemed to dismiss the cow head protest as a small issue by publishing only small stories that ignored the protestors’ provocations. At best this is an attempt to diffuse the situation, at worst to continue to keep the nation in ignorance of what’s really going on in the nation.
  3. The cow head story continues its run on Saturday 29 August, with many op-ed pieces appearing all over the net. The UMNO politicians condemnations and the PM’s reported outrage were only reported in the online news on Saturday.
  4. On Sunday, suddenly the NST mentions the cow head “incident” and published Mahyuddin’s denial.

Why the about turn? I can only deduce that the MSM has again lost out to its online counterparts.

The number of people who know the truth about the cow head protest is just too large for the MSM to ignore, and any attempt to hide or dismiss the incident is impossible. Therefore, they had no choice but to mention it in their papers, even after they tried to cover it up in the first place.

It’s no secret that people do not trust the MSM much anymore. The question is, why did they even try to cover up in the first place? If their intention had been to diffuse the situation, wouldn’t it have been better to publish the story and have some quality op-ed pieces to influence the public to be calm?

But by trying to cover up the news instead of reporting it, the MSM has once again proven that it is a poor source of real news. If the MSM does not wake up and do its job properly, it faces the risk of going the way of its political masters – becoming increasingly rejected and irrelevant.

But then again, the very fact that the MSM tried to blatantly hoodwink the public in the first place about such an open incident means that they still hold great influence on the public’s mind.

Perhaps it’s time to really make an effort to spread the word to our MSM-reading friends to check with other sources of news to get to the whole truth.

Otherwise, they may be left with a head full of fog as to what’s really going on in our country.

(For some background on the whole Section 23 temple issue, visit here and here.)

7 Responses to “The heads and tails of the matter”
  1. patrick says:

    Sad to see “Satu Malaysia” dream destroyed by “Satu Kepala Lembu” from those who have heads but no brain and moral.

    Anyway, we have to continue our dream like spiders — dont mind for current web damaged, lets build new web.

  2. vengai says:

    Its their goons . So they will cover them up by hook or crook. Its well planned by the UMNO and its dirty rats.

    Not surprise the MSM spin the whole story.The police is also well informed about this even before the Demo. Thats why the FRU stand there like TUNGGUL KAYU and did nothing.

    Its obious until now the police never take any action on that incident. The Selangor Blue Dog head is saying that they cannot arrest anyone simply and that on that day they never take any action due to their worries things might get worst.

    Ask that Selangor CPO to tell his story to mentally retarded human.

    The cock and bull story tales is a trend by UBN Regime and their ass licking MSM.

  3. MsMatch says:

    The brainless morons did’nt stop to think that they are spitting and trampling on the satay, rendang, curry beef, etc ..they consume. Shame on them.

  4. malaysian says:

    for this time, i was totally amused by KJ on his statement over the burning of Quran compared with this cow head incident. Well, i will not be surprise if none commercial/polotical newspaper of Malaysia is/are covering it, but i can only see one clear thing:

    This country cant be saved till we wipe out the remainiig of old school politician that depend on racial tension to take control, knowiing what is their advantage in population % versus other races…

    sad, after 52years or independence, we still see the case on 13/May being mentioned, and highlighted, this is truly a move in desperation.

  5. How long more are all Malaysians gonna go thru “shit” after “shit” after “shit”……..???????

    And they tell the World that we lived in harmony even though we are multi racial…..!!!
    Well…… that’s a lot of crock & “cow” story…..!!!
    And they are laughing out loud at our stupid behaviour…!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The authority seem to not do anything on these “cow heads” issue. It’s like as if “they can do whatever & get away with it”.

    Say…… if Indians retaliate by giving a “cow head” in return, what will happen..?????

    Didn’t Najib said anyone who provoke hatered or race problems will be arrested or something like that….????????
    Where do these people stand now….????????????????????

    Why MIC so “damn” bloody quiet…??????????
    “All for ONE…, & ONE for one’s self….!!!!!

    Why can’t they approach the MB & discuss first???
    Why must show some “DRAMA”..???
    Why provoke..?????

    By creating “drama” means they want to make the situation full blown. Moreover now is a “HOLY” month.
    Should they behave like that?????
    Is this what puasa is teaching all of them “about”…??????

    “Did they slaughter the COW the fight & holy way…????”

    Instead of “catching” those who eat eventhough they are suppose to puasa………………….
    “CATCH” these stupid cow heads for doing the most “UNHOLY” ……………

    Aren’t they using & slaughtering cows for themselves & to give to the unfortunate during Raya…????????????????????


    Man proposes, God disposes
    Everything will be so in His own time repose
    Whatever that’s wrong He will rightly oppose
    So make sure that our lives are properly composed

    (C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng – 030909
    Thur. 3rd Sept. 2009.

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