Dim future for Umno-fearing ‘Star’

By Reina

The Star was once described as “the paper that is owned by the MCA run by the MIC for the DAP” – meaning the MCA owned the paper but Indians (actually none of them were MIC members) with a slight leaning towards the opposition, ran it.

That was 30 years ago. This was the paper that defiantly published mugshots of those detained under ISA during Operation Lalang in 1987 in its front page to highlight the draconian use of the law by the then Prime Minister – and that was the straw that broke Mahathir’s patience. He ordered the paper to be shut down. After five months, the paper was allowed to start operations after MCA agreed to several conditions, one of which was to get rid of the “James Deans” on the editorial floor.

Today, it is seen as a paper that has lost its soul and direction. The paper made a complete turn away from being the people’s conscience and into the prized cash cow for MCA. The main preoccupation with its political masters and the paper’s officials is profits.

The Star held about 26% of the advertising expenditure for 2009, in the previous years the figure was about 30% to 35%. The average reader of The Star earns RM5,000 and above, and is the staple of policy-makers and corporate decision-makers.

Yet, on the average the journalists earn about as much as a lorry driver, driving many to leave for greener careers. There are journalists who have been working at The Star for more than 10 years earning between RM2,000 to RM4,000 a month. The New Straits Times has a better wage scheme for its journalists.

The wage divide is wide. The top editors are said to earn hefty salaries. A senior editor who resigned last year was said to be earning RM60,000 a month although many were not sure what exactly was his job. There is an editor who was brought in recently with a RM30,000-a-month salary offer. Top editors at NST or the other papers do not earn as much.

Over the last 10 years, The Star saw numerous capable journalists leave the company due mainly to low wages. In the last two years, the drain became even more acute making the editorial severely short-handed.

Many at The Star had hoped that the AGM on Monday May 24 would address the issue of wages but that did not happen.

Along with the issues of low wages at the editorial floor and overworked staff due to shortage of journalists, there is also the issue of the absence of a vision.

Where exactly is the paper heading is anyone’s guess as the paper’s officials try to ensure they do not get on to the wrong side of the government of the day, MCA, the advertisers and the corporate world and because of this, the editorial is constantly walking on eggshells.

Gone were the days of setting goals and targets and making plans to achieve them. These days, it’s “let’s make sure the Barisan guys do not find a reason to shut us down or the Umno guys do not force their representation in the board of directors”.

The fear that Umno would find a reason to pressure MCA to place an Umno proxy in the board has gripped the paper so much that each step they take is viewed and reviewed to ensure they do not incur Umno’s wrath. And Umno has been eyeing The Star not because they want to have a political presence in the country’s most powerful newspaper but to channel some of the profits to Umno’s coffers.

So, how long will The Star continue shining – your guess is as good as mine.

Comments
17 Responses to “Dim future for Umno-fearing ‘Star’”
  1. ANONYMOUS says:

    MALAYSIANS ARE SUFFERING THE OPPRESSIVE RULE BY THE ROUGES OF UMNO BN AND WE ARE HOPEFUL THAT THERE ARE MORE RPKS WHO DARE TO EXPOSE & BRING OUT ALL THE WRONG DOINGS OF THE CORRUPTED LEADERS OF UMNO BN TO THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE WHOLE WORLD SO THAT ALL MALAYSIAN VOTERS WILL VOTE WISELY COME GE 13 AND BRING DOWN THE CORRUPTED AND OPPRESSIVE UMNO BN GOVERNMENT SOONEST POSSIBLE FOR THE FUTURE WELL BEING OF ALL MALAYSIAN CITIZENS AS THE COUNTRY’S RESOURCES WILL SOON BE DECIMATED IN NO TIME UNDER THE WASTEFUL AND CORRUPTED UMNO OFFICIALS MIS-MANAGING THE MALAYSIAN ECONOMY.

    The war that was necessary to be fought by all Malaysians is the only war against corruption by UMNO Rouges and their oppressive rule by their using Police Force as their tools to suppress dissents ok?

    This is necessary so the said Govt. Coffers will not be empty when the new PR Govt. took over from them come next GE, Malaysian Voters should know what is required to throw them all out then because future generations of Malaysians will suffer great poverty after Umno BN would have bankrupted the Govt. Coffers by then if there is no CHANGE OF HANDS AFTER DECADES OF MIS-MANAGEMENT OF THE ECONOMY AND HIDING THE DAMAGED DONE BY POSTING RECOVERY STORIES AND THE OVER-GLORIFIED NEM IN THE MSM FOR SHOW ONLY, HOW TO BELIEVE THE MSM WHEN WHAT THEY TRULY DID WAS TO TELL ALL SORTS OF LIES OR DISTORTIONS FOR THE UMNO BN GOVERNMENT IN POWER WHO CONTROLLED THEIR YEARLY RENEWAL PUBLISHING LICENCES.

    ANOTHER OF THE GREAT LIES AND DISTORTIONS THE CORRUPTED UMNO BN WILL TRY TO SPREAD A PROPAGANDA AND IN ORDER TO BRAINWASH AND HOODWINK THE MALAYSIAN GENERAL PUBLIC INTO BELIEVING THERE ARE REAL FUEL SUBSIDIES IN OIL (PETROL & DIESEL) AND GAS, THERE CAN NEVER BE ANY SUBSIDIES IN THESE ITEMS BECAUSE MALAYSIA IS A NETT OIL AND GAS PRODUCER MEANING AFTER THE DEDUCTION OF DOMESTIC CONSUMPTION MALAYSIA HAS PRODUCED AN EXCESS OF THESE ITEMS FOR EXPORT AND WHATEVER IS FOR DOMESTIC CONSUMPTION IS SOLD AT A DISCOUNT AND NEVER CONSIDERED AS SUBSIDY AT ALL QUOTING AN EXAMPLE LIKE OIL AND GAS PRODUCER LIKE BRUNEI AND SAUDI ARABIA AND OTHER GREAT OIL PRODUCERS, DOMESTIC PETROL AND DIESEL PRICES ARE SOLD LOCALLY AT A VERY STEEP DISCOUNTED PRICES AS COMPARED AGAINST WORLD IMPORTERS NON-OIL PRODUCERS’ LOCAL CONSUMPTION PRICES AND THE UMNO BN ROUGES ARE TRYING TO TAKE ALL MALAYSIANS FOR A RIDE BY INSISTING THAT THERE IS A SUBSIDY IN THE OIL AND GAS PRICES BUT IN FACT THERE WERE NONE BUT A STRATEGY TO CHEAT FOR THEIR OWN END TO PRACTISE MORE CORRUPTIONS FROM THE EXTRA THAT COULD BE MADE FROM THOSE LIES AND DISTORTIONS THEY TRY TO SPREAD IN THE MSMES CONTROLLED TIGHTLY BY THEM WITH THE RESTRICTIVE YEARLY RENEWAL PUBLISHING LICENCES.

  2. Nick says:

    A dig at the fate of MCA, perhaps? “Dim future for UMNO fearing MCA” sounds about right and would fit nicely for this article. The fate of Star and MCA are interlinked and both are beholden to UMNO . Until and unless Star extricate itself from MCA and UMNO, the better it will fare. But seeing Star (just like NST) is owned by a political party (MCA), I would never expect it to change. At most, the Star will probably explode in a bright glow for an instance and then grew dimmer and die, becoming a black hole (just like a supernova!) How very fitting indeed!

  3. lee wee tak says:

    that is why I have not purchased Star for many many years now….it ws such a joy to read it before 1987. I can still see it is attractive in its job advertisement, life style section…

    • Snoopy Sok says:

      That means you still buy lah the paper ! Because you find the job ad & lifestyle attractive ? Kok kok kok !

  4. Sentinel says:

    Indian and Malay companies and newspapers are extremely parochial and tribal and hardly, if ever, hire Chinese. Why are Chinese so bodoh as to hire Indians and Malays? Time to wake up and be tribal also.Vote DAP and Chinese should hire Chinese only. Bugger all the bull that the Indian and Malay bloggers spew!

    • Nick says:

      It is obvious that you (sentinel) are a member of UMNO or BN cybertrooper, hired or sold yourself to roam the cyberspace and spew comments that are meant to incite racial hatred and distrust. Your comment has zero worth and much less credibility in it’s argument. Such pathetic attempt at disguising your BN/UMNO despicable soul. You’re not fooling anybody but succeeding only to show how foolish you are. Run back to your Big Dog master.

    • Snoopy Sok says:

      Because indians are smarter ler ! good english also mah ! Don’t jealous lah friend !

  5. Sentinel says:

    If I were a politician, I would create a shadow government for the Chinese only. MCA and DAP are stupid. No leadership ability and little intellect. So much support, political capital and goodwill from the Chinese and they do not know how to muster it and make a big difference! LKS is all hot air and typical comfort zone coward or fat cat if you like.

    LGE should do better. Time to take the lead LGE and delegate Penang to a capable lieutenant. You have a larger calling. The Chinese of Malaysia needs you to take care of them if the Government cannot. Create a parallel government for education, jobs, etc… Rest assure you will get much financial and volunteer support. You will not be disappointed.

    Meantime, ars*holes like anthony Loke who is all air and puffed importance, can go fly kite! (Where was he after the murder of Teoh Hock beng? Why this so “brave” coward of a Youth leader did not organise a public rally or protest to allow Chinese to vent their anger? seless bugger!)

    • Nick says:

      I thank GOD that you are not a politician, Sentinel. We have enough rotten and decaying politician in our midst and if you were to become one, it will be the end of Malaysia. So much contradiction in your comment! First you were calling for all Chinese to support DAP and now, you are shouting that DAP is Stupid! LKS is all hot air? LGE should do better? Did you hit your head on the floor while you were collecting scraps from your master (between comments)? TEOH HOCK BENG??? I’m no Chinese but isn’t his name Teoh Beng Hock (may he rest in peace) as oppose to TEOH HOCK BENG??? Gave yourself away didn’t you? Go away Sentinel! We don’t want your kind here!

  6. the man from the liquid world says:

    I stop buying star paper years ago too. Now with malaysia today, malaysian insider, freemalaysia today and etc etc. I surf the net and there are more truth out there then whats in the star paper.
    People are turning to internet nowadays, young and old alike. It is the best place to read instant news rather than wait for a day before we can read it in the papers.
    Let star die of natural death and when PKR takes over putrajaya. STAR will self terminate along with Utusan.

    • Faithful reader I was for over 15 long yrs with NST then switched to STAR to stay longer for another 20 yrs. Then, a sudden emergency break mid of last yr. WHY….WHY….WHY ??? Simple…………They both decided to serve their political masters then only the public who pay for their so-called news. That’s right, nowadays I depend more on the internet for a more balanced news and editorials.

  7. coolie says:

    I wonder what they pay Wong Chun Wai. Maybe his pay is equal to 10 Star reporters. And what does he do?
    Spinning tops.

  8. lepanther says:

    MCA people just want money for themselves only. They don’t care about other Chinese people or Malaysians in Malaysia. This is the same situation in TAR College in Malaysia. All lectueres are under-paid, overwork for those MCA bosses so that we can feed them RM60k salary. TAR College lecturers are treated like fools and idiots! A college without any vision or direction, only has vision in protecting MCA bosses pocket. The rest of the Chinese in Malaysia, you are on your own. Nobody will fight or protect your rice bowl.

  9. nstman says:

    For what shall it profit a paper if it makes a lot of money and loses its own soul. Frankly the Star does not give a damn or apologise for its stand. It makes a lot of money and sacrifices its soul and principles on the altar of avarice. The Star has ceased to become the conscience of the nation. Money matters.

  10. ANONYMOUS says:

    Cancerous Disease

    Kill the cancerous disease and the patient will survive, likewise get rid of the root cause and the Nation will survive and thrive.

    It does not matter what they do because whatever they do will be to no avail. Like RPK said in London, it is no good attempting to treat the symptoms because it just simply will not work. It is the cancerous disease that should be treated. So therefore as long as UMNO is in the driver seat then absolutely nothing could be done. Before anything else, UMNO will first have to line their pockets, then their families pockets, then their cronies pockets and then whatever morsels left to the selected segment of the rakyat. So how much is enough? It does not matter how much natural resources Malaysia possess for come one day these resources will eventually be exhausted. Then what?

    Be like Singapore one might suggest. But do our leaders have that mentality and maturity to do so? With the present government – not by an extra mile mate!

    So what can we the rakyat do? Well we can change all these just by a stroke of the pen. Quoting RPK, ‘We the rakyat is the boss’. So come GE13 with the stroke of the pen, we could effectively change the government and consign UMNO/BN to the gutter. Well not totally to the gutter but enough to effect them to be the opposition as at the end of the day checks and balances are still needed irregardless of who is forming the government on that day.

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