Marina, enough hypocrisy already!

Uppercaise on how Marina Mahathir has shown herself to be her father’s daughter, turning The Star into the villain — and walking away with an injured air, a supposed victim of ‘censorship’.


If Marina Mahathir had truly wanted to show up the lack of press freedom … [w]hy did she not attack the blatant use of government machinery, such as KDN, and the blatant connivance of civil servants such as KDN, the police, and the Attorney-General, in stifling the voices of reason and giving free rein to the voices of hate and bigotry?

[Instead] She’s moved the spotlight away from Umno and the government and from the gathering forces of Ketuanan Melayu and left The Star trapped in its glare, even though the paper and Guna [Star managing editor (business) P Gunasegaram] personally have been victimised by the Ketuanan Melayu mob of Perkasa — which has her father’s backing — and by KDN officials so quick to issue a show-cause letter.

Was any show-cause letter issued to Al Islam? Did Perkasa have to undergo any waiting period for the issuance of its KDN licence for its newspaper? Did Selangor Kita have a KDN licence to print and publish?

Wasn’t cartoonist Zunar’s magazine Gedung Kartun seized before distribution on the technicality that it had not received its verbally-promised KDN permit? Haven’t the [Malaysiakini-published] books been seized despite the fact that they are not banned?

Did not Makkal Osai pay the price of suspension by KDN in 2008 for publishing a hideous picture of Jesus Christ — even though the Catholic Church had forgiven them for making an error and not acting maliciously?

The differences are obvious.

[Yet] Marina Mahathir went for The Star’s throat and got it, when the paper was already on the defensive.

Article in full can be read here.

Marina’s criticism came the day her column was withheld — and also on the same day that managing editor (business) P Gunasegaram was questioned at length by police over his column Persuasion, Not Compulsion on Feb 19.

Marina made no mention of her father’s ultra-conservative views on free speech and press freedom, or that the current Printing Presses & Publications Act is the result of action taken by her father’s administration in 1987.

Now father is backing the bully boys calling for action against The Star and for Guna to be sacked. The sacrificial offerings to Mahathir of the heads of Noordin Sopiee, Munir Majid, Johan Jaafar, et al in the past haven’t slaked the thirst for petty vengeance.

If Marina Mahathir cared enough for a free press and free speech, she could use her influence and persuade her father to call off his dogs and campaign instead for real freedom for everyone.

Article in full can be read here.

28 Responses to “Marina, enough hypocrisy already!”
  1. Jayenjr says:

    Sigh……Marina. What can I say? The sins of the father return to haunt you….

  2. Logical says:

    With Mahathir and his sons smelling like sh*t it is necessary to have
    at least one member of the family to emanate a non-repugnant odour.So we see this Mutt & Jeff show being put on now and then.
    If you read Marina’s articles carefully you will observe that she writes very superficially.She does not go into the underlying causes and the history of the issue that she addresses.To be fair
    she is not able to or else her daddy’s name will crop up all over the place.She has to be given some credit for being able to con so many Malaysians for so long.Just like her daddy.

  3. Li Huat Chai says:

    I used to read Marina’s articles, and i must say i like them.

    But, some how, yes, it is rightly described, there are some hypocrisy… she never criticises his father when she knows or she must have known his misdeeds…

    As such, i have not bothered to touch her article anymore, for a long time.

  4. arusa says:

    I have not bought mainstream papers for a decade already. I truly applaud Hartal MSM’s aims and efforts in “countering the spin” that shapes much of public perception regarding our soicety and its governance. Hartal MSM serves a great service to public interest, in interpreting the news by which the public can then make conclusions to, in due course, make decisions that affect thier

    However, I feel that this post is spinning out of Hartal MSM’s noble and worthy orbit.

    Marina’s position as Dr M’s daughter is most unenviable. It is, to say the least, a delicate situation. Consider the dilemma of holding true to one’s PERSONAL beliefs and values (which undeniably, in her personal capacity, she has done admirably in all her activism work) whilst not transgressing her obligation to honour her parents (I trust we agree on this moral good) by not publicly shaming them. She, IMHO, has the moral fibre it takes to maintain a firm footing between this tension. I wonder how many of us, if put to the test, will not not fall off. I for one, hope never to find myself in such a dilemma.

    Who knows what personal cost on family relationships has accrued due to this. On top of public attacks (such as this post and associuated comments), imagine criticisms or accusations (of disloyalty/disrespect) that surely she faces within the family.

    Perhaps the authour needs to revisit what Hartal MSM is for in the ABOUT page:

    [Hartal MSM is a mediawatch group which had its beginnings in December 2007 in the People’s Parliament, an initiative convened by civil rights lawyer Haris Ibrahim. The group seeks to promote a free and fair media as an impetus to Malaysia’s stalled nation-building process.]

    Surely making harsh moral judgements, name calling and imposing one’s very unique personal values on others is not within the ambit of Hartal MSM.

    I urge you to stick to countering the msm spin, please.

  5. bengaun says:

    You really hit the nail on d head!!!!!!!!!!! Very well written. Tq. Dear Marina, do u agree with your dad’s misdeeds or deeds indeed?

  6. cm says:


    Hartal MSM is spot on with this one. You are so out of touch as a person who has not been reading MSM for a decade already. You must be on planet M pre-the Great One’s retirement.

    Nobody’s asking anybody else not to honour their parents. The spin she made misses the woods for the trees whining about HER press freedom. Bullshit!!

    And public attack on her my foot!!! As the writer says, she chooses her own free choice to write very publicly and feels free enough to attack Anwar and Pak Lah and other politicians and the imams. What a hypocrite.

    Like Marina is not MSM spinning. The article makes quite clear how she does so I don’t think you’re in any position to be telling Hartal MSM how to conduct their business. They’re doing a good job and don’t need you teaching them.

    Go stick your bootlicking comments on Che Det’s wall.

  7. NP @ Shar @ JY says:

    Shar, where r u? See lah, u got so clever ppl like CM above who equates not reading MSM as being out of touch. LOL. Malaysians!!! What can I say….

    P.S. EWO, what’s new??

  8. arusa says:

    It is a sad reflection of things when commenters/supporters of HMSM cannot disagree without use of uncivil language. Again, what does hartal msm mean? Boycott the papers. Which is exactly what I have done.Uhm… again, wWhat’s the meaning of hypocrisy, eh?

  9. Dear all

    HartalMSM is run by volunteers who do not have the access to information like our MSM journos have. As such we do the best we can to analyse the news based on our common sense and whatever information we can find in other sources.

    That said, we are a non-partisan initiative, so we do feature articles that may go against the “norm”.

    By the way, this article was not written by us but by uppercaise (a senior NST editorial staff) on his blog – Malaysian Media Matters.

    Our stand has always been for a free and fair media. Free and fair meaning everyone has their right to their opinions.

    So let’s not get too uptight about differences of opinion, shall we?

  10. hartalmsm says:

    Some readers know Marina today as the jetsetting “activist” flying off to international seminars.

    However, an NST old hand like uppercaise would have known her when she was at NST years ago. Reporters and sub-editors would also be aware of a side to her that starry-eyed MSM readers would not.

    We trust uppercaise’s reading of her position in and on media, and his call on this matter.

  11. arusa says:

    In the context of mainstream NEWS, ‘countering’ clearly is about going against the ‘norm’. Absolutely not the issue here. By the same token, a different perspective shouldn’t be seen as getting ‘uptight’. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, or something like that ;).

    All the same, sad to know I wasn’t mistaken after all, about the post reflecting HMSM. Just my opinion though, don’t flay me ya.

  12. dahi ketiak says:

    I have stopped subscribing to the Star, and never will I ever be one again. Marina may have her failing, like all of us, but the issue in my humble opinion is one of censorship, self-censorship to b precise. Self-censorship in the mainstream media is like a cancer. There is no cure for it right now, but it should not stop us from trying any means possible to minimise the disease. I believe Marina is doing her bit in her own way, just as this blog is contributing its share to have greater press freedom in Malaysia.
    By the way, for those readers who have not been employed inside Balai Berita, uppercaise used 2 b a well-paid gomen stooge but has fallen out of favour (flavour?). with an axe to grind, he is now playing the good guy of free speech and press freedom to get back at his former paymasters. That is fine with me, more people on the side of press freedom the better, but we must not let our guards down.

  13. NP says:

    “That said, we are a non-partisan initiative, so we……”

    Non-partisan??? You like it, huh? 😀

    Anyway, what is MSM? What constitutes MSM? Is CNN, etc. considered MSM? Does MSM have to be “non-partisan”??? Is the CNN, BBC and such MSM unbiased???

    EWO, as you can see, answer the above and you’ll see how your previous article about MSM is flawed. But’s it’s OK. You are making an effort. An abysmal one, but an effort nonetheless 😀

    Jed Yoong

  14. NP says:


    I think that “uptight” comment was aimed at CM 😀

  15. NP says:

    EWO, Shar,

    You see how my very presence here… my comments and posts here… attract new readers to your blog… which is what we want 😀

    But it’s OK, I understand. Implied thanks to go with the implied apology 😀

  16. Jed,

    I seriously doubt that we managed to hit almost 200,000 visits because of you. But if it comforts you to think like this, be our guest. I guess everyone needs a security blanket, some more than others. 😀

    As to my opinion about your opinion of me or my writings, read the comments section in my post about the MSM’s biased coverage of the economy. 😛

    • NP says:

      Please understand how this stat is compiled :p

      OK, will read.

      Do you guys really believe me to be Jed???

  17. arusa says:

    “… an NST old hand like uppercaise would have known her when she was at NST years ago. Reporters and sub-editors would also be aware of a side to her that starry-eyed MSM readers would not.”

    uppercaise as EX-NST journo. Apparently not held accountable for NST’s ‘sins’ past or present. And I would agree, rightly so. Btw, as a matter of interest, is (s)he still on NST payroll? (oh please forgive my ignorance, but you do understand I don’t read the MSM online or off, right?)

    But Marina deserves to be singled out for attack over her PAST – “years ago”! – silence over press censorship under her dad? (btw I am not a supporter, never have commented on her blog. I’m merely a supporter of fair play)

    Since HMSM supports uppercaise’s position, I am naturally compelled to ask: Pray tell, why the double standards? If we apply equal standards, then, who is the hypocrite?

    Where is your sense of fair play?

    The issue, for me, isn’t about “going against the norm”, nor is it about MSM journos having “better access to information” (tho’ I am really struggling to understand why Hartal has this problem when it seems uppercaise is a much trusted source).

    All said, I want to reiterate. 1) I do not read the MSM, and despite my comments, 2) I am not anti-Hartal.
    I am just anti-hypocrisy. I do expect equal yardsticks and standards from Hartal. Now, is that a reasonable expectation of a watchdog, or not?

    • hartalmsm says:

      You’re accusations are off-mark.

      There are tens of thousands of employees in MSM. Hartal has not in the past singled out MSM staff except for the very top editors. Therefore your allegation as if Marina is particularly “singled out for attack” and “for her PAST [silence] years ago” is misplaced.

      The ‘hypocrisy’ issue is not, as you imply, about uppercaise or his colleagues failing to speak up against press censorship.

      If that were so, too many personnel employed by the various MSM would be culpable – as per your sarcasm regarding uppercaise – “Apparently not held accountable for NST’s ’sins’ past or present”, and being “on NST payroll”.

      On the internal affairs of NST, yes, we do hold uppercaise to be a trusted source. We’ve also seen how sharp (s)he is as media monitor, hence (s)he has been on the Hartal blogroll since the early days of this website.

      As for “access to information”, we do not wish to divulge further personal details to you about the background of those volunteers in Hartal who have a media past or about uppercaise, just as we and (s)he have not repeated private info about Marina known in the journalistic circles.

      We were just explaining that uppercaise writes with insider knowledge that you likely do not possess.

      Be that as it may, uppercaise has made a case that anyone with public knowledge of Malaysia can follow.

      We will leave it to our readers to decide whether it is Hartal that is having double standards as you’ve insisted, or Marina that is practising double standards.

  18. arusa says:

    perhaps i did err in saying ‘SINGLED OUT”. But am I really off the mark? If I am, perhaps you can clarify.

    “Hartal has not in the past singled out MSM staff except for the very top editors”.

    1) I am just an interested member of the public. I don’t claim any insider knowledge at all, so pardon my ignorance – but I am seriously curious; was Marina ever top editor at NST or other MSM? My impression – possibly erroneous – is, she’s just a columnist, whose writings get vetted by editors.

    2) Was uppercaise himself, (described here as “an NST old hand’ and “senior NST editorial staff”) in the past been singled out by Hartal for not speaking up?

    Now, I haven’t asked you to divulge your source or do anything unethical. I don’t particularly need to know. But an MSM top editor accusing an MSM columnist (albeit mahathir’s daughter) of hypocrisy, now that evokes some curiosity, no?

    Finally, is it too late for Marina to speak out against MSM self-censorship, now? Or should Marina have been wiser to continue the silence on censorship to avoid ever being called hypocrite?

  19. Huda says:

    I used to read and enjoy Marina’s column. I stopped reading it a few year’s ago. She is indeed her father’s daughter. She is an intelligent enough woman to understand what her father had done to curtail freedom of speech in this country. Now she’s tasted a taste of her father’s medicine.

    What goes round comes round.

  20. copperhead says:

    Let me correct a few things here. You don’t have to believe what I say but I can differentiate a Cheltenham font from a Century Schoolbook. An en dash from an em dash. Got the hint?

    Okay, Marina was never a top editor in the NST or in The Star. She had a stint in the NST years ago in the ’80s just writing some stuff.

    You can say uppercaise is a veteran journo who came back to NST during Kali’s time after being out in the doldrums for donkey years. He was also never a top editor inside this “sink hole” called NST. He was hardly there for about 2 years plus before he quit for reasons known only to himself. Maybe, he has been enticed by Free Malaysia Today.

    But he was with The Star in the ’80s and some thought of him as “God’s gift to journalism”. I must say he knows his job and an enfant terrible, too. He rose almost to the top in The Star at that time under a certain Hung. But then he didn’t last long as a top dog on the editorial floor because things got to his young brash head then and he fell out with Hung and left (or was he asked to go?). I wasn’t there but this much I know.

    So he left and started his own thing outside the MSM but again it didn’t last long and he “disappeared” for a while (say several years). I guess I have said enough to stop you people from making unfounded guesses about the guy. Not a she.

  21. NP says:

    Copperhead !!!

    Why can’t we not make guesses like NP=Shar=JY and such? It is our very basic right to say what we want. “Unbridled freedom of speech”. No one should be able to stop another person from saying anything, however stupid or inciteful it may be. Or is this not the case???

  22. copperhead says:

    Sorry if you misread me, NP. I’m not saying you guys should not pose pertinent questions. And there’s nothing wrong in making guesses about the guy. I was just trying to clear the air about uppercaise because I know the facts about him. Seeing some people going about who is this guy in the comment space here and knowing most were off the mark prompted me to chip in. I’m not giving you folk fiction. Remember the Shadow knows.

  23. arusa says:

    Still no clear answers/explanations forthcoming. Much is suggestion, allusion, allegation. Nothing is clear, and yeah, very shadowy indeed!

    Irony of ironies (or is it hypocrisy?)… Hartal msm using top NST editor as media monitor. A clumsy way of putting it but, in this country, it’s not unlike asking thieves to police the thieves.

    If upercaise is no longer editing in NST or any msm, it would make a little bit of sense. But just a tiny bit. But for him (a top editor!) to call marina ( a mere columnist!) a hypocrite for not speaking up in the past, is beyond comprehension. And for Hartal msm to support this stand/source? Even more incomprehensible.

    Now, all this conjecturing on “what ifs”. But what do you expect from shadowy sources and cloudy explanations by hartal msm? Naturally, the result is so called “off the mark” comments, which, incidentally brings up yet another question: Media watchdogs watch the press, but who is watchdogging the watchdog?

    Do keep in mind these questions arise only because thus far, there hasn’t been anything in the way of a response that clears the air and reassures anybody that there has been been fairplay in this particular story.

    On this particular post, at least, I sincerely hope HMSM will be able to bear scrutiny as a media watchdog.

    The media monitors at Aliran have been/are doing a damn good job. But they can’t possibly do it all. I like what Hartal MSM is supposedly about. With all the consent manufacturing going on in our mainstream media, we definitely need more monitors to scrutinise the news.

  24. arusa says:

    Hung as in HHY?

  25. copperhead says:

    sigh……still, some people don’t get it. what to do?

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