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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Mongolian connection? Star's apology not good enough, says Hisham

Sulaiman Kamal | 12:24 AM | | Best Blogger Tips

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Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein wants The Star to make a "very clear apology" to the  Muslims in the country, who were deeply hurt over the newspaper's special supplement for the fasting month, in which it had featured pork dishes which are taboo in Islam.
"It was because I was dissatisfied with the newspaper's respsonse to the mistake that I called its Group Chief Editor for an explanation today. If a mistake has been made, a very clear apology must be made to Muslims in the country," Hisham told reporters on Tuesday.

The Mongolian connection?
The MCA-owned daily has since issued an apology, saying it was a "mistake", but some groups linked to Prime Minister Najib Razak's UMNO party insist it was not enough. Ultra-Malay rights group Perkasa has gone on warpath and burned copies of the newspaper, sparking speculation that perhaps the article had offended more than just Muslims.
Among others, the Ramadan Delights special supplement had included an advertisement 'Best Rib In Town' on its second page, and an article 'Whipping up an appetite, Mongolian Pork Ribs' in Page 4 and 'Authentic Prime Pork Ribs' in Page 7.
Some say Najib's supporters were especially offended because of the word "Mongolian" which they believed rehashed memories of Altantuya Shaariibuu, the translator who was murdered in Malaysia in 2006. There are allegations that she had been Najib's girlfriend but he has denied ever knowing her.
Be that as it may, Hisham said the Star must do more to convince Muslims it was sorry it had the hurt the feelings of Muslims in the country. Hisham, who is Najib's cousin, said it was more important for the paper to satisfy the community rather than him or his ministry.
"As the matter did not abate, I felt it was important that something be done to reduce the "temperature" to avoid more polemics from happening," said Hishammuddin.

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