Friday, June 22, 2007

Mongolian murder and The NST's agenda

For seven (working) days now the whole nation has been captivated by the trial of once respected political analyst Razak Baginda in the murder case involving Mongolian model Altantuya Shaaribu. The reason why this case has captured such interest is well known to all: It involves the gruesome murder of a beautiful model from an exotic country, a love affair with a somewhat famous man, and of course certain quarters have made allegations of linkages to the political elite, consequently sparking notions of a conspiray of some kind. Stuff of good novels.

But I'm not writing about the case per se because enough people have commented and are commenting on it. What has spurred me to write this post is the way newspapers treat this case. Particularly the NST, which has shown a complete disregard for objectivity and fair reporting.

What does the NST have against Abdul Razak Baginda? Is it that the NST has something against Razak, or is it maliciously suggesting something else? Consider the following:

In the first place, leading up to the case, other papers seem quite composed about the whole affair. One or two did have some sort of blurb about the case begining on June 4th (Before the famous postponement to June 18th). But nothing compared to what the NST did. In black background with bold white letters, NST shouted out something to the effect of "2 days before Altanuya murder trial". On the front page. Like it was some kind of advertisement. (You can almost here the unspoken words "quick! get your tickets now for the greatest show on earth!") No other paper tried to create that much hype about the case. For the most part the excitement over it had pretty much simmered down... nowhere near the frenzy of when Razak was first arrested back in November last year. But NST wouldn't let the case be just another high profile case. NST wanted to make sure it was a real big time circus. Why?

Then in the days leading up to the case and as the case began The NST began it's crusade and vendetta against Razak Baginda, for reasons only HindugodMuslimpriest knows. Why do I call it crusade and vendetta? Just look at the folloing headlines from the NST. First, Check out this front page headline on June 4th: An emotive story sympathising with a grieving father...

ALTANTUYA MURDER CASE: Dad wants to know why his daughter died

DR SHAARIIBUU SETEV: I want to see the faces of the witnesses, to hear them speak. I want to hear their stories to satisfy my need to know what really happened.
KUALA LUMPUR: Over the past seven months, Dr Shaariibuu Setev has been plagued with a myriad of questions. He wants answers, starting today.
The 56-year-old former lecturer from Mongolia is in Malaysia as a witness in the trial of his daughter’s accused murderers.He seeks justice, yes. But above all, he seeks answers."I want to see the faces of the witnesses, to hear them speak, and most of all to make a judgment
myself."I want justice and transparency to be evident during the trial at the Shah Alam High Court," said Shaariibuu.
These were the words he used, as conveyed to Honorary Consul for Mongolia to Malaysia, Datuk Syed Abdul Rahman Alhabshi.

Note: NO other paper took this angle of the story.

Then, the NST is relentless in painting Razak Baginda in a bad light, and the mongolian woman a helpless victim. They even went so far as to paint the murdered model an exemplary mother and and daughter! (Note: NO other paper took this angle).

Consider the following headlines in the days after the trial began:
"She demanded US$500,000 - two days later, she was dead " (20th june) [Note: This indictment of Razak (and by the way, isn't this sub-judice??) was accompanied by the following picture, which anyone in the media knows is meant to play on the psychology of readers - she demanded money; twodays later she's dead; and look at her alleged murderer smiling]

And then there is of course today's headline (June 26th), a cryptic and damning "LEAVE OR DIE", accompanied with a thug-like picture of "Razak's new hairdo" which, again, is obviously designed to make Razak look like horrible villain.

And that's not taking into consideration other minor stories like "Razak Cheerful During Break" (22 June) and of course who can forget "Razak's wife assaulted me' - Altantuya's father tells court" (23 June). (Note: Other papers had this story too, but none -in my opinion- as blatantly lopsided in favour of shaaribu as NST's was. NST's even had this friendly picture of Altantuya's father accompanying the story.:

How adorable. Again, a psychological play, if you ask me, to make Shaaribu and the Mongolians look like a poor old man and his victimized family, against tyrant Razak, his mean wife and dysfunctional family. Then of course there is this sad story below. Just read the following piece from NST (23rd June) and tell me if it's not biased:

Shaariibuu breaks down over photo

SHAH ALAM: Initially, he sounded very confident. He spoke with pride when mentioning his daughter. There was even a weak attempt at humour. But Setev Shaariibuu’s resolve crumbled when he was asked to identify a photograph of his murdered daughter, Altantuya Shaariibuu.He removed his spectacles, buried his face in his hands and wept openly.There was an uncomfortable silence in the courtroom and after taking a moment, Shaariibuu said: "In Mongolia, we do not say the name of a deceased. But I will say it if you insist."DPP Manoj Kurup apologised to Shaariibuu but explained that they needed her name for the record.Shaariibuu: Yes, that is Altantuya. We call her Tuya, for short, while her friends call her ‘Amina’, which means light

Aww... Danielle Steele couldn't have written it better. (Note: No other paper reported this story in such moving language)

Anyway, lots more not-so-subtle hints that Razak is a meanie peppered across the NST from day to day. No other paper comes even close to painting Razak in a badlight like NST has been doing and continues to do. It will get worse. Just wait till other witnesses come forth. You'll see what I mean.

Now I don't know Razak Baginda from Adam. But reading the NST day in and day out along side other papers, I just have to ask the question: WHY? Why is the NST so doggedly intent in showing Razak in a bad light, almost predicting his guilt, if not outrightly suggesting it? Again, is it about the NST's hatred for Razak Baginda? or is it for people associated with Razak Baginda? Let's not beat around the bush. Lets ask outright: Is this NST's agenda to smearDPM Najib by his association with Baginda? It's the only explanation of NST's relentless determination to paint Razak GUILTY long before the trial is over.

But, if that is the case, what baffles me most of all... is that how come this mischievous act, is being done not by Harakah, not by Rocket, an UMNO OWNED NEWSPAPER? Anyone wants to take a guess?


Chee Meng said...

Aiyo No need to ask. Najib is the ectual targets

AdriennaNur said...

I do feel sad for the father who has lost a daughter... Maybe NST is just helping them out?