The PRS president James Masing is at it again, blaming Mafrel for being `bias’ for covering too much of BN’s `wrong doings’ in Batang Ai than the PKR. More coverage of wrong doings from 1 side does not neccesarily means that there is a bias: another obvious possiblity is: that is exactly the true picture out there! It is interesting to note that the PRS president never refured that `wrong doings’-even however weakly!
In fact Mafrel welcome the criticised parties to defend themselves. We will never refuse to publish their defences. In Mafrel’s view we recognise that everyone, including the rich and powerful, has the right to self-defence.
From another angle: is the PRS president getting too used to the kind of bias reporting found in the main stream media controlled by the ruling parties? The kind of 1-sided reports are what could possibly be called `bias’ as they clearly ignore or twist reports on the Opposition and refuse to give them a right to reply. This is something James Masing cannot be credible in criticisng Mafrel’s reports.
Masing questions Mafrel’s interim report
By Samuel Aubrey(Borneo Post)
LUBOK ANTU: Election watchdog Malaysians for Free and Fair Election (Mafrel) was taken to task for not being ‘fair’ in its report on observations of the Batang Ai by-election.
This was because an interim report recently only covered the supposed wrong doings of Barisan Nasional (BN) and not of the opposition.
Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Dato Sri Dr James Masing said Mafrel should have reported the incidences of the opposition tearing down and vandalising BN posters.
He said one BN billboard in the junction leading to Batang Ai hydroelectric dam was vandalised and a police report had been lodged over the matter.
He, however, regretted that Mafrel did not seem to bother about the incident, apparently because they were putting more focus on reporting the bad side of BN.
“I am not interested in their (Mafrel’s recently completed) interim report. (The Mafrel coordinator for Batang Ai) Peter John may have stood as an independent candidate in the last state election, but that does not mean he is independent and neutral.
“The tearing and vandalising of posters…why didn’t Mafrel report that,” he said.
Masing, who is also BN director of operations for Batang Ai by-election, was commenting on the Mafrel’s report which made some serious allegations against the BN.
On a related matter, he said vandalism of posters was not a political culture of Sarawak.
He said this new political culture, which he described as more antagonistic in style, was brought in by opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) from the peninsula.
He also said the opposition supporters vandalised the billboard at the Batang Ai hydro dam junction because they were embarrassed to see their candidate Jawah Gerang saying ‘BN is the way’ when he was in BN less than two years ago.
“In any previous elections held in Sarawak, there had never been incidents of violence or antagonism like destroying or damaging posters like what had happened in Batang Ai when opposition supporters damaged BN posters.
“I would like to remind PKR to stop resorting to such action as it is not our culture to introduce violence or antagonism while campaigning,” he told reporters when met at the Lubok Antu Sports Complex here yesterday.
Masing said following the incident, PRS had lodged a police report and hoped police would conduct a thorough investigation into the matter.
The Batang Ai by-election, held simultaneously with Bukit Gantang (Perak) and Bukit Selambau (Kedah) tomorrow, will see a straight fight between BN’s Malcolm Mussen Lamoh and PKR’s Jawah Gerang.
Batang Ai has 8,006 registered voters who are expected to cast their votes at 24 polling stations.