A storm was stirred in a teacup when Malaysiakini mismatched its Najib Razak banner photo (snapped when the PM was on board a feeder bus) with its related article standfirst about the premier’s entourage apparently forcing MRT commuters to the back of the train.
Malaysiakini‘s picture showed Najib in a bus while its story concerned Najib’s ride on the train. Hence the photo-article mismatch.
The portal was reporting on Najib’s commute yesterday evening on the MRT. This mass rail service transits from originating station at Sg. Buloh and spanning 12 stations to its last stop — which is currently at Semantan. However when completed, the line will run all the way to Kajang.
Najib boarded the train at the Pusat Bandar Damansara MRT station (see route map below). He was checking out the soon-to-be operational second phase of the line that will link to the KL Sentral transport hub.
Malaysiakini originally introduced its article saying “MRT commuters were apparently forced to the back of the train to make room for the premier and his entourage”. See its blurb below.
Subsequently, Malaysiakini modified the relevant paragraph by inserting the phrase “before Najib boarded” to update its sentence to read: “Lawyer Andrew Khoo posted on Facebook that passengers that were on the MRT before Najib boarded apparently forced to the back of the train to make room for the premier and his entourage”.
Chicken and duck communicating
The portal was leading its story based on a complaint by lawyer Andrew Khoo who posted on his Facebook that “officials cleared the front of the carriage of the train [for Najib], and passengers were forced to move to the rear”.
According to what he told Malaysiakini, Khoo’s train journey on Wednesday overlapped the distance of one station with that of the PM.
Recounting a different and more pleasant experience of the event is Facebooker William Cheah.
William was one of the social media movers and shakers who were invited to join the PM’s trip. He reacted to the Malaysiakini story by disputing the portal’s account that anyone was forced to move at all.
Their discrepancy in details arises due to Andrew and William’s respective views from different perspectives.
Andrew was talking about the portion of the MRT ride from the Pusat Bandar Damansara to the Semantan station whereas William was talking about the ride on the feeder bus with Najib where he is pictured in the Malaysiakini photo − see red arrow below.
Andrew was referring to the Pusat Bandar Damansara-Semantan train experience while William was referring to the shuttle bus situation.
Other invited guests of the PM include fashionista Wak Doyok (real name Tengku Muhammad Azwan Mohd Nor), Faiz Dickie (real name Mohd Nasrul Faiz Abu Azal), Karl Shafek (Khairul Shafek Ibrahim), Mohd Ridwan Mustafa, Kyopropaganda, Akwa Arifin and Harvinth Skin(the guy with the green hair).
Their accounts of the VIP trip can be read from their social media.
The feeder bus was specially chartered for the group and there were no uninvited passengers on the bus as per the photo above.
⇓ Social media personalities with Najib on the MRT yesterday
Two tribes and no common ground
The contending narratives about Najib’s ‘road’ test yesterday created acrimony between netizens on either side of the political divide.
William is positive about the MRT and looks at it as an achievement to be proud of. He posted in his FB: “… why do we smear a grand achievement such as the MRT with really such a small matter of whether ‘passengers’ were pushed back for a tour by the PM?”
He looks at the big picture which is the improvement in our public transport system.
Andrew, on the other hand, focused on the slight inconvenience caused to some MRT passengers traveling from one station to the next stop.
Even if it’s true that some commuters were indeed asked to make way so that the prime minister and Rosmah could climb aboard the train, it is really such a big deal? Does this warrant all the really rude and nasty comments flung at the PM and his wife by Malaysiakini subscribers, and even some that were directed at William for his positive outlook?
Ordinary Malaysians are tired of the incessant and endless negativity displayed by the Dapsters, and their perpetual cursing and swearing at establishment figures.
What was Malaysiakini‘s intention in blowing up a minor detail that’s essentially a non-issue? Their niat is suspect. And they’re pandering to a readership that’s always bersangka buruk.
The left-wing media should stop bloviating about ‘muhibbah’ given their own propensity to foster disharmony (read: fanning hate for the government) and their audience’s entrenched animus for Umno.
Malaysian liberals have no moral standing to label their opponents as ‘haters’.