The 11, who said they represented several Malay NGOs, first stomped on the papers, calling them “paper haram” (illegal) and “berita palsu” (false news). [HMMM, I THOUGHT THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN MORE APPROPRIATE IF ONE WAS TO DESCRIBE THE UTUSAN OR BERITA HARIAN IN THIS MANNER. GIVING THE STAR THE BENEFIT OF A DOUBT, IT WAS MERELY AN PROMOTIONAL ADVERTISEMENT NOT A POLITICAL SPIN. SINCE THE PAPER HAVE ALREADY APOLOGISED TWICE, WHY CONTINUE TO FLOG THE HORSE? UTUSAN, ON THE OTHER HAND HAVE BEEN SPINNING STORIES, YOU KNOW 'BERITA PALSU' THAT WOULD HAVE CREATED SOCIAL INSTABILITY. EVEN WHEN THEY WERE CAUGHT WITH FALSE REPORTING, THEY DIDN'T EVEN HAVE THE COURTESY TO APOLOGISE, AND WE KNOW WHY.]
The NGOs include Malay rights pressure group the Penang branch of Perkasa, Suara Anak Anak Malaysia (SAAM) and Persatuan Kemajuan Insan Malaysia.
Later, the group held up yellow placards carrying anti-The Star slogans, while crying out for the Home Ministry to take further action against the newspaper's editor. [IF FURTHER ACTION MEANS REVOKE THE PRINTING LICENSE, SO BE IT].
They warned of “bigger actions” if the newspaper fails to seriously apologise for running 'buka puasa' (breaking of fast) articles together with stories of non-halal restaurants in a supplement pullout. [BIGGER ACTIONS, IF THEY MEANT MOVING FROM BURNING NEWSPAPERS TO BURNING THE BUILDING?]
“We will later bring three trailers of newspapers to burn if the paper does not apologise properly,” shouted SAAM chief Mohamed Ghani Abdul Jiman.
[NOW THIS ONE REALLY TAKES THE CAKE. MANY MALAYSIANS ARE ALREADY BOYCOTTING THE STAR AND HERE WE HAVE THESE BLOKES SUPPORTING THE PAPER, AND THREE TRAILER LOADS ON TOP OF THAT! THE MANAGEMENT OF THE STAR WOULD BE SO OVERJOYED THAT IN ONE PARTICULAR MONTH SAW A SUDDEN UPSURGE IN CIRCULATION. THESE SAAM AND PERKASA FELLAS USED THEIR HARD EARNED MONEY, BOUGHT SOMETHING THEY DIDN'T LIKE AND THEN DESTROYED IT. AM I MISSING SOMETHING HERE? IF THEY REALLY INTEND ON BURNING THREE TRAILER LOAD OF STAR NEWSPAPERS, SOMEONE SHOULD REPORT THEM TO THE DEPT OF ENVIRONMENT FOR OPEN BURNING. CAN YOU IMAGINE THE DAMAGE IT WOULD DO TO THE SURROUNDING AREAS. HOW DAFT CAN THEY BE?].
He called for sterner action against the newspaper and its editor by Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein.
“They have not seriously apologised for their mistakes. The editor must take responsibility for his mistake,” he added. [I GUESS THEY WANT THE EDITOR TO COMMIT HARAKIRI OR SEPUKU].
'Take sterner action'
Another Perkasa representative, Noorhalim Abdul, said the Home Ministry should suspend the newspaper's publishing permit for its recent error.
“Sterner actions should be taken against the newspaper's editor, he should be terminated from his job,” he said.
“Let this be a lesson to all newspapers, not just The Star, to be sensitive to the feelings of others,” he added. [ALL NEWSPAPERS? DOES THAT INCLUDE UTUSAN AND BERITA HARIAN? IF IT IS, I'M ALL FOR IT].
The group later handed over the yellow placards to The Star's representative Philomena Anthony, asking her to let her “boss” read the slogans inside. [NGOs TURNED SLOGAN WRITERS? ADVERTISING AGENCIES BETTER TAKE NOTE. THERE ARE SOME POTENTIALS HERE FOR YOU TO CONSIDER IN SLOGAN WRITING].
Hishammuddin had said the ministry was not satisfied with The Star's immediate apology over the matter.
He had asked the The Star to do more to soothe the feelings of Muslims who were deeply hurt over the newspaper's insensitive articles in its 'Dining Out' supplement. [WELL MAYBE THE STAR SHOULD ORGANISE A BUKA PUASA DINNER AT A 5-STAR HOTEL FOR THESE BLOKES, IF IT HELPS TO SOOTHE THEIR FEELINGS].
The controversy erupted after the supplement, which was published last week with the cover headline 'Ramadan Delights', was found to also contain articles and pictures of pork dishes and non-halal restaurants, something Muslims find very offensive.
The newspaper has suspended its supplement editor and apologised twice over the matter.
About 50 policemen stood watch while the activity took place in Bayan Lepas, about 1km from the Penang International Airport. [WHY IS IT THAT WHENEVER THESE UMNO RELATED GROUPS PROTEST, THE POLICE HAVE A TENDENCY TO STAND WATCH AND NOT ARREST THE CULPRITS. IF IT WAS THE OPPOSITION, THEY WILL JUMP INTO ACTION AS THOUGH THEY HAVE JUST TAKEN 5 BOTTLES OF LIVITA].
Southwest district police chief Lai Fah Hin (right), who was at the site, said he allowed the group 10 minutes to rally and five minutes to disperse.
He said he had warned them not to damage any public or private property and they had complied with the order.
“As for the open burning, I have reported them to the Environment Department, which will take the necessary action,” he added.