The Malaysian Insight’s wishful thinking

“The point is, everyone knows that a DAP Chinese can never become Prime Minister in modern day Malaysia. If such a statement were presented to me, even I would laugh my turban off and roll on the floor with it. The correct approach would have been to limit the survey to discover if people actually believed the DAP could rule by proxy.” – Raggie Jessy

THE THIRD FORCE

Yesterday, The Malaysian Insight featured an article by Zulkifli Sulong (Zul) that was titled ‘Selangor Malays not buying anti-DAP message’. Just so that you know, Zul was once the Chief Editor of Harakah and published several controversial articles while with the PAS organ. Some of his publications landed him with very expensive lawsuits while others earned him the ire of several UMNO personalities.

One of those personalities was none other than Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. On the 17th of June 2003, Zul was forced to issue an apology to the former premier for publishing the caricature of a man sporting a snout-like nose. The nose was meant to resemble that of a pig, while the depiction was believed to be that of Mahathir himself, then the premier.

So you see, Zul has been in the business of smear campaigns and gutter journalism for a very long time. So long, he has become an expert at finger pointing and playing blame games. Yesterday, he accused UMNO and Barisan Nasional of using anti-DAP narratives to recapture the state of Selangor. But the party he seems to be defending (the DAP) now belongs to a coalition chaired by the very man he once featured as a chauvinist!

Yes, Zul is quite the hypocrite. And it is this hypocrisy that guides his hands every time he decides to pen an editorial on paper.

I mean, what does he call the campaigns Pakatan Harapan has been waging against Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak all this while? Are they not spite-filled campaigns designed to blacken the Prime Minister’s name and that of his family? Why is it called ‘whistleblowing’ when it concerns Pakatan but ‘smear campaigns’ when it comes to Barisan Nasional?

The last I checked, one Pakatan friendly ‘whistle-blower’ – Sarawak Report – failed to furnish a London court with the black and white to substantiate claims that the Prime Minister bribed Dato’ Seri Abdul Hadi Awang RM90 million to solicit favours. Yet, Pakatan friendly portals refer to Clare Rewcastle Brown as a ‘whistle-blower’ and not the white trash she truly is.

See the double standards yet?

These are the standards journalists like Zul live by each and every day of their lives. But don’t just take my word for it. Instead, take a look at what he had to say in his opening statement yesterday:

“A study by two academics among 1,943 Selangor residents found that only 24% believed the statement that ‘if Pakatan Harapan were to win the general election, DAP would rule the country’.”

Not so bad, you may say. But read on:

“Many Malays realise that Chinese voters only comprise 23% of the populace and that only DAP is led by the Chinese. The other three PH parties are helmed by Malays.

“The study surveyed Malay voters in two state constituencies, Hulu Klang and Gombak Setia, both of which are under the Gombak parliamentary seat.”

Duh?

Isn’t that just like asking people in Tumpat if they would support a beer festival? Given that the Kelantan district is Malay majority and left-leaning, it is not conceivable that 97 percent of its population would flatly oppose such an event? Would you not stand a better chance getting Petaling Jaya Utara folks to support a beer festival instead?

Zul failed to consider a fundamental concept in the principles of statistical analysis. Accordingly, a sample population in any study should always respresent the entire population in a region of interest. In his analysis, the sample population should have reflected Selangor’a racial diversity and not just the demographics of one or two lone districts.

In other words, Zul was extremely prejudiced and biased with his report.

His notion that only 24% believed the “DAP would rule the country” was hogwash and something you can immediately dismiss. What Zul presented is what scientists and statisticians generally refer to as “nonsense data,” or data that makes very little sense other than to satisfy one’s own prejudicial slants.

And even if his analysis was limited to the district of Gombak, it failed to present what is commonly referred to as a “fair instrument” of survey. A fair instrument typically implies a set of questions you ask respondents to gauge their sentiments on a particular issue. In this case, the analysts wanted to know if people believed the DAP could rule the country should Pakatan win the election.

So this is what they should have asked:

“Should Pakatan Harapan win the next general election, do you think the DAP will rule the country by proxy?”

Instead, this is what they presented respondents with:

“If Pakatan Harapan wins the next general election, DAP will rule the country”.

See the problem?

First of all, they presented respondents with a declarative statement, not a question. A declarative statement is suggestive and does very little other than to cloud one’s perception. Those who conducted the survey planted in the heads of their respondents the idea that the “DAP would be in charge should Pakatan Harapan win the election.” In other words, the analysts sought to trigger an emotional response instead of one grounded in reason and sensibility.

The point is, everyone knows that a DAP Chinese can never become Prime Minister in modern day Malaysia. If such a statement were presented to me, even I would laugh my turban off and roll on the floor with it. The correct approach would have been to limit the survey to discover if people actually believed the DAP could rule by proxy.

And make no mistake of it – the DAP actually can. That is a probability even Zul himself knows is true. If not, why on earth did Lim Kit Siang stand with arms folded when Mahathir anointed himself Pakatan Top Dog? Why would a man who spent decades demonizing Mahathir suddenly agree to be second in command next to him?

Makes sense?

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