Charles Santiago unhappy Awesome TV insinuates racist tone in GE15 reporting

OUTGOING Klang MP Charles Santiago has berated what he described as a “racist to the core” and seemingly “fear mongering” 1:41 news clip on the 15th General Election (GE15) by broadcast station Awesome TV’s Berita 7:57 (which is also aired on Astro’s Channel 123).

Urging the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to act urgently, the three-term DAP lawmaker who is making way for Kota Kemuning state assemblyman V. Ganabatirau in GE15 insisted that news on the national poll must be accurate and truthful as it influences public perception.

On the contrary, the biased news reporting by Berita 7:57 insinuated by urging ethnic Malay voters to come out in a big way to vote in GE15 if they do not want political power to allegedly come under the control of “other races” should the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition wins GE15.

According to the news bulletin, this will prevent Malay interests from being sidelined, referring its concern to a study by the Huayan Policy Institute and Centre for Malaysian Chinese Studies which found that 80% of ethnic Chinese Malaysians who answered their survey intend to come out to vote with only 9% unlikely to do so.

Interestingly, the video clip failed to justify their assertion as to how an election victory by the multi-racial PH coalition would translate into political power coming under the control of “other races”, but instead stressed on the need for a high turnout from Malay voters to change Malaysia’s future “especially for the sake of Malay interests”.

To do so, the video clip urged the Malay community to choose wisely representatives from parties that are able to form strong political power, hence a powerful cabinet which is capable of “taking care of the rakyat, especially the Malays”.

It also reminded ethnic Malays to learn from the PH government’s alleged failure to defend the interests of the community which forms the majority of Malaysia’s ethnic composition during the coalition’s 22-month rule.

It is not immediately known if the said news content is authored by the TV station itself to serve its editorial direction or is a tailor-made advertorial item that is paid for by a third party (ie people with political inclination).

Recall that on May 2, FocusM called on satellite pay TV operator Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd to boycott with immediate effect Awesome TV and its Berita 7:57 from airing on its Channel 123 after the ruckus of disseminating malicious content via its news bulletin.

This follows one news bulletin segment that hurled serious defamatory remarks on the then Securities Commission (SC) executive chairman Datuk Syed Zaid Syed Jaafar Albar by accusing him of failing to help Bumiputera companies out of their doldrums.

With the spotlight on two ailing global oil & gas (O&G) outfits specifically Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd and Sapura Energy Bhd, Berita 7:57 further claimed that the ex-head honcho of the capital market regulator and his team should have helped both companies as they are the backbone of the Bumiputera economy.

According to Malay news portal Harian Metro, Awesome TV has with effect from July 1 appointed Mazlan Mahdi as its chief operating officer and Datuk Yushaimi Yahaya as the chief editor of Berita 7:57.

Yushaimi who has over 30 years of experience in the media industry was also the former editor-in-chief of the New Straits Times Press Group and Malay Mail as well as the media advisor of the Redberry Group. – Nov 6, 2022

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