Zaid and the irony of ironies

Pix pinched from Malaysiakini

Before March 8, 2008, Malaysians reading MSM would hardly have been aware that the opposition existed — at least in any positive sense. They were given precious little coverage, and what little there was negative or painted an unflattering picture. Heck, even the photographs selected of the opposition leaders by the photo editor were the most unflattering ones.

Post-March 8 with Pakatan winning key states, MSM could no longer pretend the opposition leaders did not exist. After all, they had now Menteris Besar in their ranks who officiated at state functions. The Metro and local sections of the papers — even if they had wanted to — found it harder to black out the doings of the opposition (they remain federal opposition but are state government).

This week, however, Zaid Ibrahim got better coverage from MSM than even when he was a cabinet minister previously. The papers practically went to town when he gave a press conference announcing his withdrawal from the PKR race for party deputy presidency.

In fact, Zaid has set a record of sorts in the annals of Malaysian press history. He has commanded the most balanced coverage in MSM ever for a leading opposition figure.

By ‘balanced’ we’re not necessarily saying that the coverage is neutral and without any slant to the benefit of the political owners of the MSM. We’re just saying that in terms of column inches, front page and prominent positioning for his announcement, Zaid got the same ‘balance’ of space usually accorded the bigger of the Umno bigwigs.

And for someone from the opposition (he’s Coordinator of the three Pakatan component parties) Zaid got to tell his side of the story and wonder of wonders, have it reported extensively — so rare a thing to happen in MSM!

Now why can’t MSM be as nice as this to the opposition in normal times for ‘normal’ stories?

Ugly opposition media culture

On a separate note, certain opposition hacks and his own colleagues have been real nasty to Zaid. We posted on this earlier — Just ‘like’ drive-by shootings (at Zaid), eh?

Many below-the-belt hits have been jabbed at Zaid. The low-blow label of ‘sore loser’ flung at him is particularly ugly. Resorting to labelling is a sign that the accuser is like a not-too-bright kid who can only go ‘nyeh, nyeh, nyeh’ and can’t do any better. You can be sure that the ‘sore loser’ label was a propaganda tactic and did not come about at random. PKR has got some low people, alright.

Below we’re excerpting a write-up by our buddy Hawkeye (a Barisan Rakyat blogger) who’s got Zaid in his own words on his pullout and other recent developments.

“Something must be wrong when 80 members attended a divisional meeting but 800 voted. We must address the issue.”

[Zaid] said he was disappointed that some PKR leaders had made personal attacks against him instead of investigating his allegations of electoral fraud.

He added: “I have been humiliated. I have been called a sore loser. Those who know me know that when I was in Umno, I contested three times and lost. I am not a sore loser. Just an individual who wants to do things right.”

“I made some allegations, but instead of investigating, they asked me to show proof. It is like when you lodge a police report, the policeman asks you to show proof first before he treats the report seriously.”

He said some PKR leaders had even submitted a video recording of a PKR member boasting about paying off members in the election and the election committee had kept silent about it.

Zaid rejected accusations that he was using the media to hit back at Anwar or his erstwhile rival in the election, Azmin Ali. He spoke to the media, he said, only to defend himself.

“My question is, ‘Who used the media to run down other PKR leaders first?’ Anwar and Azmin should answer this instead of accusing me of using the media regardless of whether they are owned by Barisan Nasional or others.” (The report from Hawkeye can be read in full here.)

2 Responses to “Zaid and the irony of ironies”
  1. Sang Kancil Guru says:

    Good point. Hopefully Dato Zaid can use the MSM to his advantage, and outline the hypocrisy that exists in both PKR and UMNO.

  2. ranbir singh says:

    zaid…..if you cant take the heat,just are creating mountains out of molehills because of your quest for personal couldnt cut it in umno/bn so you joined pakatan because you genuinely thought bn will lose power.but when things went against you in pakatan you are now crying are a newcomer and you seriously thought the people who bled and underwent detention and sacrificed for the party will just lay down and let you walk over and take control of the party just like that?get lost….please.we in pakatan have had enough of you and your child like tantrums.understand the meaning of sacrifice before shooting of your mouth.back to umno to be hailed as hero for causing ruckus in pakatan maybe?

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