The MCA publication, The Star, has gone on a propaganda offensive today in a bid to check eroding support for the party and provide a morale booster for the party’s general assembly.

The party news organ points to the crowds at the nine MCA “mega dinners” as an indication of a reversal in declining support for the party – or at least there is an “open verdict” as to whether the people will swing back to the MCA. To back up its claim, the paper claims that people are paying RM30 to attend these dinners and listen to political speeches, apart from tucking in the food. Some 12000 tickets have been sold for one such dinner in Kulai, and the other mega dinners are targeting at least 5000 diners.

The question is, who exactly is buying the tickets and who is actually attending the dinners? Are they the same people? Are the majority of tables being bought by certain quarters in block or are tickets being sold individually to the public for most of the tables?

The party’s propaganda tabloid also tries to give the impression that the protests over the petroleum refinery in Pengerang are inspired by the opposition, when it is the residents themselves who are unhappy over the development.

The paper even says that no one can see Pakatan going from one parliamentary seat to 12 in Johor in the coming general election. No one? Really?

And it says that the Johor MB is not controversial and has no baggage even after five terms. No baggage? Really?

No wonder the circulation of The Star has dipped from 310008 in 2006 to 287204 last year.

What do you think? Have any of you attended these dinners? Do any of you read The Star anymore?

Let’s strip away the pretence and call a spade a spade: The Star is less a newspaper, much less a ‘people’s paper’, and more like the unofficial party organ of the MCA.