One of MP Chew Mei Fun’s contributions to the Chinese community (and the nation too?) is the matching-making programme called Cupid’s Space. We now know China Press which clarified and took blame for MP Chew Mei Fun’s May 13 comment surprised thinking readers is also Cupid Press since last Saturday (January 26).
Its front page headline story was “Mei Fun and Jian Biao deny elder-sister-and-younger-brother romance”. Mr Hu Jian Biao is widely speculated as MCA’s candidate for the Kampung Tunku’s seat, which happens to be part of Chew’s Petaling Jaya parliamentary constituency.
Mr Hu, 30, a former university champion debater, a former NTV7 personality and now MCA President’s blue-eyed boy, has been seen accompanying Ms Chew, 44, in many functions. This give rise to rumour that they have fallen in love with each other.
As if the front page alone could not do justice to the newsworthiness of this important denial, the story ran into page 2 with more details – including their biodata and a picture of Chew, in company of Hu, being visited by DAP leaders when Chew was hospitalized after a car accident.
The best shot is that even the editorial was dedicated to the issue: “Let the elder-sister-and-younger-brother romance takes its natural course”. Can you have a more loving and touching newspaper?
I can’t remember if any mainstream newspapers carried a leader when PM Abdullah Badawi married Jeanne Abdullah.
In any case, the China Press’ editorial has enlightened us that Ms Chew’s love life and happiness are as important to Malaysians, if not more than, those of PM Abdullah.
Let me put this straight for the record. I will be very happy for Ms Chew and Ms Hu if they find love in each other. Politicians need love too. I believe the public should wish them well, just like they have done it for Mr Abdullah Badawi and Ms Jeanne Abdullah, and recently, when Ms Fong Poh Kuan and her fellow DAP leader Chen Zhen Chun tied the knot.
What is problematic to me is whether the private lives of politicians or celebrities, whether positive or negative, including that of Dr Chua, be treated as important news. Call me old-fashioned, I believe that there is a limit where by journalists must stop going after what is “of interest to the public” at the expense of what is “in the public interest”.
Unless, of course, your newspaper is called Cupid Press.
To be fair to China Press, the rumoured Chew-Hu love affair has appeared on other Chinese newspapers as well. I was told that the duo made it to Guang Ming Daily’s front page too.
And there is more to come. The Oriental Daily on Sunday reported that a MCA’s local leader, Ang Say Tee (?), supported the couple and believed that the party’s president and Wanita MCA’s chairperson (Ng Yen Yen) would do the same. He said that the couple denied it because it was still in early stage.
So, what will we read in coming days and weeks running up to the elections? Will they admit it on Chap Goh Mei (One of three Chinese’s Valentine Days)? Will the voters be asked to give encouragement by re-electing the lady into Parliament and her boyfriend into the state assembly?
By the way, Ms Chew has not personally responded to the public condemnation of her “May 13/1969” comment, which China Press has taken the blames for her.