Newspapers in Malaysian Bigfoot War

Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 26th, 2006

Mawas sketch by Peter Loh

A new article out of Malaysia betrays the underlying war between newspapers in the country over who "owns" the Johor Bigfoot story. Today’s editions of The Star are subtle in how they are using quotations and paraphrases from government officials to distance themselves from Vincent Chow, new books, and possible photographs of the Mawas.

Here’s the back story.

Two newspapers, The New Straits Times and The Star, have been in the forefront of the developing story and reporting of the "Bigfoot" sightings since December 2005. Now a change in coverage and treatment has been clearly demonstrated by The Star today, in their dismissive treatment of Dr. Vincent Chow. A story written in Friday’s editions of The Star has paraphrased the governor of Johor State as, more or less, calling Dr. Chow unreliable. Could the governor not meant this and the newspaper is merely adding this meaning?

Cryptomundo reveals today for the first time the probable source of this conflict. It’s nothing more than an old-fashioned newspaper war.

As it turns out, the forthcoming books Chow will be writing are a joint project involving mainly three others: reporter Sittamparam of The New Starits Times and Lee Hoi Chin of Sin Chew, a Chinese Daily, plus the contribution of a preface by Loren Coleman, your Cryptomundo correspondent. Sittam and Chow will co-author the English version while Lee will tackle the edition for the Chinese readers.

This single project of two books, as we mentioned previously here at Cryptomundo, was the source of the confusion that there would be two entirely and totally separate Johor Mawas volumes. The news mentioning this as "two" books was released, intriguingly, by Bernama, the Malaysian National News Agency. Please note, this one book project of the same group of authors, via two languages, has no one from The Star associated with it.

Once again, as appears to happen in Malaysia, this all has developed, not in any formal statements, but as casual remarks that are keys to other information.

According to government leader Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, two teams of ten researchers each will be going into the Malaysian rainforests soon "to gather proof of the existence of Bigfoot." When this will happen, however, is a little vague.

"But the time and place have yet to be determined," according to The Star.

“Since talk of the Bigfoot started, we have been compiling additional information for the past three months,” said Abdul Ghani after launching the Johor Baru International Orchid Show 2006, yesterday, May 25th. He also mentioned that cryptotourism has picked up, with 30-40 visitors per weekend, going to the village where footprints were found in recent months.

The entire topic came up, more or less, as a side comment: "When asked about the publication of books on the existence of the Bigfoot, he said the state government did not prohibit such work."

The tone of the article from The Star, a newspaper competing against The New Straits Times, appears to be decidedly editorial in the next passage:

One of the upcoming books would be by local biodiversity and environment expert Vincent Chow collaborating with other writers.

However, Abdul Ghani said the state government is gathering information from more reliable sources (Cryptomundo emphasis).

“While these sort of books are published, we are also working with a team of experts in gathering important information regarding the existence of the creature,” he said adding that the information obtained would be vital for the upcoming expedition.

The article in The Star was "Teams to Seek Proof of Bigfoot", published Friday, May 26, 2006.

It will be recalled, in surveying past articles in The Star that their subtle skeptical treatment of Vincent Chow has been difficult to understand, as for example in their "Bigfoot Still In Doubt" article of February 19th, on the possible finding of hair samples.

It seems rather apparent that more is going on than the obvious from first view in Malaysia with the Mawas, and part of it has to do with where you happen to read about the latest "Bigfoot" news.

Malaysia Bigfoot

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

12 Responses to “Newspapers in Malaysian Bigfoot War”

  1. Bennymac responds:

    I didn’t read anything all that disparaging, other than the “more reliable” comment. I don’t blame the goverment for wanting to get there own proof. Personally, I think it’s a good thing to have two competing newspapers in the same city. Didn’t Vincent Chow say he showed the photo’s (of the mawas) to the Sultan of Johor? Is Abdul Ghani the Sultan? It kinda sounds like they’re waiting the for book too, like the rest of us.

  2. bill green responds:

    hey bennymac good morning yes i totaly agree with your reply about today newest update article about the malaysia yeti activity saga im sure we here will hear alot more stuff soon. thanks bill its is a very interesting article 🙂

  3. photowriter responds:

    Hello All,

    I’ve been a longtime reader here at Cryptomundo, but this is the first time posting for me. I’ve been trying not to get to excited about the Mawas pictures, but it’s hard not to be at least a little excited. I was wondering if there has been an actual release date for the book and/or photos?

  4. One Eyed Cat responds:

    Sounds like typical two-year olds arguing over ‘MINE!’

  5. Ranatemporaria responds:

    I know its been said many many times previously but again, here we have yet more smoke and as of yet no fire!

  6. Loren Coleman responds:

    LOL, Rana, then why say it? People wanted an update on what is being said in Malaysia, and thus I overviewed what was published there today, but pushed it beyond the mere obvious to explore the back story. I am happy some people see that this is all it is, no more, no less.


  7. Sharm responds:

    Abdul Ghani is the state Chief Minister (Menteri Besar = Chief Minister), not the Sultan of Johor.

  8. Ranatemporaria responds:

    Sorry there Loren, it was not a knock at you, just my youthfull exuberance and being passionate without the patience! Besides you are as you say just relaying what is going on in Malaysia, and its that not you or this site that I loose patience with, even though I know i shouldnt!!

  9. bill green responds:

    i hope there is more new updates this week about those 2 new books about the malaysia yeti creatures & if there been any newer encounters or footprints found etc. hope we all hear more from the malaysia researchers as well. im very patient. it would be great to see a documentary about malaysia sasquatch creatures research. thanks bill please keep me informed ok 🙂

  10. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    Know you have my empathy, when more frustrations at the Johor situation are eventually directed at you. If my years in newspapers taught me anything, it is that people love to “shoot the messenger.”

  11. twblack responds:

    Hey as long as they find them and share with the world I could care less if this paper or that paper has the story. But with 2 groups maybe somone has a camera and can give us a glimspe of the truth or non-truth.

  12. bill green responds:

    hey loren coleman & researchers here whats new with malaysia sasquatch-yeti activity info etc today. loren have you talked to any malaysia researchers this week about if they went on any new field research trips in malaysia forests with cameras etc to look for footprints or other evidence or is there any newer updates about those 2 new books about malaysia sasquatch creatures, has there been any sightings in malaysia of sasquatch like creatures this week. keep me informed im very patient. 🙂

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