I’ve been in contact with the male reporter from Sin Chew daily, Long Yew Foo, who wrote the story about Tourism Minister Tengku Adnan’s comment which caused an uproar because he said that women bloggers were mostly unemployed, liars, cheats and “do not like national unity”.
“I tell you now, I stand firm on what I wrote,” said the reporter, in an email to me this afternoon. I can sense his disappointment, now that questions about whether Sin Chew had lied is circulating around.
Apparently, Long had read Merdeka Review and they quoted me saying something to the effect that Sin Chew had lied. But I remember, I was simply asking the question. “Sin Chew, did you lie?”
According to Long, Tengku Adnan attended the GP sales press conference that day and he (Long) was there.
He said the translation by one of the bloggers (stated here) was pretty good and almost similiar to what he wrote, except for the part:
“Malays will kill Chinese, Chinese will kill Malays, Indians will kill everybody else.”According to the reporter, Adnan said “…Indians will kill both“.
Long said he dared not distort what the minister had said.
“I am just reporting the truth. I was so suprise that no other press reported that matter….the PC (press conference) took a long time, almost an hour……Tengku said a lot…..may be the others missed it…”.
However, Long said that China Press, another Chinese newspaper did report the matter, but did not emphasise much on the issue. On the other hand, the Malay papers had decided not to highlight any blogger issues.
Meanwhile he asked what I meant when I said “Unless Sin Chew lied. So, Sin Chew, did you lie?” on my March 16th 2007 posting “Tourism Minister escapes without a scratch”.
“Unfortunately, some people are quoting your words by attacking my company seems like for being liar and also affect my professionalism,” said Long.
He added that my statement was quoted by www.merdekareview.com on Mar 19, 2007, with the sub-headline “Sin Chew, did you lie?”
He repeated: “Now, I am telling you, I stand firm on what I wrote“.
He added: “Thank you for your support and other bloggers as well. Even the minister had admitted he said this was a joke? What kind of joke?”
“I had repeatedly listened to the recorder and he did not mention that this was a joke. And because people are laughing (at it), this stuff is considered a joke?“
He also said he needed my clarification on my posted words.
“Are you accusing our paper of being a liar or are you simply asking a question?”
“At last, I am just doing my job, of course hoping to achieve excellent journalism (but) it’s a long, long, long tough road, and still much to learn,” he added.
Well, I certainly asked a question, which should have been directed to Tengku Adnan on the day (15 March, at the National Press Club) he was supposedly “cornered” by reporters, but they all ended up laughing with him.
I was not accusing Sin Chew. That is clear and I am sorry to Long if this has affected his professionalism. I believe it was Tengku Adnan who had done that, not me. But I am glad I got my answer.