The Star: Lie or genuine error on press freedom ranking?


I hope this is a genuine error and not gross deception by The Star. Thanks to blog reader Forest for pointing it out.

Most surfers will know that the RSF press freedom ranking for Malaysia has plunged eight spots from 124th last year to 132nd this year – but not The Star, which is on a different planet. It reports that Malaysia’s press freedom ranking has climbed 10 spots! This is what happens when you try to spin the reality.

This is the excerpt from The Star report:

Press freedom index up 10 spots

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia is lying 132nd on the Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index, up 10 spots from last year’s.

The seventh annual worldwide press freedom index was released by the international organisation yesterday.

It categorised Malaysia as “one of the countries that wavers between repression and liberalisation, where the taboos are still inviolable and the press laws hark back to another era”.

Malaysia was also described as “strictly forbidden to report anything that reflects badly on the president or monarch, or their family and close associates”.

“The main lesson to be drawn from the index is that not economic prosperity but peace guarantees press freedom,” Reporters Without Borders said on its website.

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hehe…we’ll give the star the benefit of the doubt lah…poor paper!!

last year (2007), the rating for M’sia was 124 (fell from 92 in year 2006).

this year, the star said ‘up 10 spots’. perhaps someone in the star had mistaken ‘124’ for ‘142’. so, ‘up 10 spot’ to 132! 😉

makes sense right?

anyway, here’s the link in the star for last year:

Andrew Aeria

The Star Editorial Team all cannot count-lah..! They all failed their primary school maths. Dunces all of them.


cancel your subscription NOW




let’s see will thestar correct their mistake or not tomorrow…



Ah Wai ahh…, kesian-la, even if STAR makes a genuine mistake, your readers still think you are downright spinning again, as usual… hahahaha!

Good news is you won’t be threatened with ISA or closure and you don’t have to admit guilt and/or resign!


lets see if they do apologise.

But you know Anil, the trust of the matter is that the perception is already created and printing an obscure “correction” in an obscure page will miss the eyes of 99% of the people. They will still think that Malaysia is doing well in Press freedom. Perceptions my friend are sometimes more effective than the truth, just like half truths.

Publish the correction in BOLD on the front page and then I will respect you as a newspaper. Otherwise the Star in my view is a propaganda tool of the gormen! Pathetic!

joo lee

i think it’s an unfortunate case of metathesis. the writer or subeditor read 124 as 142 and voila! we’re up 10 places instead of down 8. as much as they’re a …. of BN, i don’t think the star would humiliate themselves by misreporting something so easily verifiable.

tan, tanjong bungah

Hi everyone,

I was taken aback and ‘outraged’ when I read the Star news this morning – the outrageous spin to make it seems that Malaysia press freedom has ‘improved’ 10 spots, contrary to being down 10 spots!

The more they spin, the more I feel like cancelling my Star subscription! Though at times I held on because ironically I want to find out their spins for comparison to the alternative media, to determine how much value, or lack of it rather, that the main media has!


After viewing “” and now this… Shame on you guys at the Star!!!
BTW Anil, whats your take on a 6year old girl having spent time at the Police lock up? Can Malaysia go an lower in the eyes on the world?

Andrew I

Let’s see whether “the error is regretted”.


RELEASE ALL CHILD DETAINEES NOW, REJECT ISA, REJECT MAHATHIRISM. First, they detain an innocent journalist and MP under ISA. Then they detain a blogger under the ISA. Now they detain a 6-year old girl under the Societies Act. Just keeps getting more ridiculous and unacceptable. Who’s next? How much longer are we going to keep silent and let these corrupt, immoral politicians abuse the powers given to them by the Malaysian Rakyat? Please Stay Calm and Stay United, do not fall into the trap of evil politicians who are trying to create an emergency situation similar to May 13. We… Read more »

Joe Rakyat

Anil, why no coverage on 6-year old being arrested? Pls highlight to Malaysian public for awareness. JR