Monday, May 14, 2012

Marina Mahathir and Some Guy Named Sam Peh -The State of Malaysian Media

I thought deep and hard about what these two writers opined, both appearing in that alternative, The Malaysian Insider, and write what my conscience bids.

First Sam Peh, I was tempted to make fun of the name (am being honest), and his two sen worth, Malaysia’s sad media – Sam Peh.

When he picks the Bar (he was also there) and a liar Xeno, to make his point, you know where the person is coming from.

Well, choosing a portal that never learns prone to apologies, as his choice mouthpiece, says much about the person's discerning faculties.

That and all I can say, with "Yesterday more than 1,200 lawyers voted at a Bar Council EGM to condemn police brutality at Bersih 3.0 but the Umno owned paper focussed on 16 little known lawyers who dissented. And to make matters worse the report focussed on whether the quorum was reached (which it was) and whether all those who turned up were lawyers. What rubbish reporting", 1,200 lawyers should be enough personnel and munition to sue the NST if the report slandered the Bar.

Now for Marina Mahathir, sadly also.

Blogger wonders why she does not use her column, in The Star where she contributes, to disclose the state of affairs behind the scenes, after all these years.

She has enough experience to slip through self-censorship without notice, of her latest experience.

That said, I will agree with her that the mainstream media and their journos should publish and report without fear or favour, with the strictest proviso - responsible and truthful reporting.

Digressing, reading the Malaysian Insider report, "Self-censorship futile, says Marina Mahathir", I feel vindicated, even if only a bit.
“I’ve been writing there for something like 23 years I’m a bit sentimental about it I do know that a lot of people just read me there and nowhere else so I feel a bit reluctant to just completely stop ” she said.
She does need the the attention.

Continuing, the Home Ministry should not be overly sensitive and seen to be high-handed when reports and articles run counter to the government's political point of views and stand.

We deride the opposition DAP in the Tunku Abdul Aziz affair and admonish them, rightfully, as false champions of freedom of everything especially freedom of speech and expression. Yet, we are seen not offering the same press freedom when the government is at the other short end of an issue.

It is altogether another matter when publications crosses the line on religious and racial issues, a very thin line.

Therefore, I beg to differ with her Erykah Badu thing. The Star did the write thing to apologise whether before or after facts that arose.

What both Sam Peh and Marina imply are that Malaysian mainstream media are biased, with deliberate intent or with a twist, of the arm, to favour the ruling establishment.

Media bias is not a Malaysian phenomena, the "Majority in U.S. Continues to Distrust the Media, Perceive Bias", for example.

Apart from The Star and the NST, are The Sundaily, The Malay Mail, and I want to add The Edge Malaysia, frequently self censoring and biased?

Ten ways for an altered state of Malaysian media:

1. The mainstream media must give personalities like Ambiga and members of the opposition like  Lim Guan Eng and Anwar Ibrahim more exposure for the reading public.

2. Give more permits for Chinese vernacular newspapers.

3. As the Printing Press and Publications Act has been loosened, remove those inconvenient caveats imposed on the Harakah for members only, The Rocket for members only, The Herald for Catholics only. The non member Chinese also want to read the Harakah, the non member Malays also want to read the Rocket and everyone wants to read The Catholic Herald.

4. Since there are only government controlled public listed newspapers, The Harakah and The Rocket should merge as a single publishing entity and apply for a permit and the Home Ministry should grant one without conditions (see #3) that are as effective as remedies for the common cold.

5. Pakatan Rakyat can call for ubah donations to take over The Edge Malaysia and make offer the can't refuse.

6. Since Home Ministers past and present have always been questioned for their wisdom on the subject in question, appoint someone from the opposition to the post. Someone widely seen to uphold the rule of law, for example Tungku Abdul Aziz.

7. Police must not use extreme force with officers of the press, foreign or local, in any situation. Especially local press corps as they are only doing their job to give the government's view.

8. All state governments should publish and distribute free of charge, publications of special interest to the Rakyat even to places of worship, like the Selangor State Government's "Selangor Times".

9. Since foreign mainstream media are often cited as free and fair, offer foreign media moguls opportunites and incentives to invest, base their operations and publish news in Malaysia, Rupert Murdoch comes to mind.

10. Do away ALL laws not loosen laws pertaining to printing and publication, allow everyone and anyone to feel free to print anything and everything without exception. There must be no restrictions. As a gesture of sincerity on the part of the government, by legislation:

(a) The BAR Council be appointed sole legal representatives and custodian of printing and publishing.

(b) Ten copies of the publication, within 48 hours after printing, must be sent to the BAR Council, to protect individuals/groups/entities from any legal proceedings, claims and suits should any publication result in conflict, riots, damage to goods and property, and any other injury the Bar Council deem fit.

(c)  Laws pertaining to slander and defamation will still apply to any publication to protect the reputation of individuals, groups, entities  and lawyers incomes.
That should make everyone happy.

Blogger note:

PAS and DAP should seriously consider merging their print mediums, Harakah and Rocket. The same silly caveat should not be a problem as the enlarged entity would still be for members only. It would provide for some very politically and socially informative, vibrant and entertaining fare. At last, a fair and free-for-all newspaper.

Post Script

As for free to air and satellite TV and radio medium, when Pakatan Rakyat takes over - it will be status quo. Believe you, me.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

sam peh the hampeh? sure deserves the 'accolade'..

Freddie Kevin said...

Anon 7:49,

Normally I would think hard to self-censor this kind of comment that would sam pah my blog.

Have a nice day, my night was bad. Car down again.

Not too savvy with cars, if you get my drift.

Thanks AAM especially their service mechanic En Hayat, you are a rare credit to your profession.

Sorry tumpang comment on another issue, have a wonderful day.

Regards
Freddie

Anonymous said...

Freddie,

Just like to add here.

You're one-sided.

Its understandable since you are pro-BN, you have to magnify the bad part of the opposition and put aside the bad part of BN. It is call spin in journalism.

But, the mainstream medias are not suppose to published/aired the same manner like what you are writing.

I've watched BBC and CNN in Astro and sometime Channel News Asia from Singapore. There is a rather huge contrast between those and TV3. Don't you think?

Since we are expose to all these foreign media, then people start to make comparisons. That is why they are making a lot of noise.

Maybe the government should ban BBC , CNN and all. So that people do not make comparison.

Albert Einstein come up with the theory of relativity. According to him everything have a point of reference.

If you compare our media with the likes of BBC, CNN, CNA then, our level or journalism is at the rock bottom but if you compare our media with the German media in 1940 (Ministry of propaganda/Gestapo) we are quite well of.

Hashimoto

Freddie Kevin said...

Hashimoto,

or whoever you are, get your sifu to comment.

Either that or you must be having multiple personalities.

Would it come as a surprise that I may be a Nazi sympathiser?

Remember history are written by victors.

Rock bottom journalism like Marina's, I agree.

Thanks for the comment.

Salam
Freddie

Anonymous said...

Freddie,

I am not making a reference of you with Nazi. Just pointing out that the local journalism is very bad. There should more reporting of news then spinning.

This is my opinion.

How is your trips using the KTM kommuter?. I remember you wrote something to the minister of transport. Any progress....or have you given up..... and switch to other means of transport.

I've read somewhere that the delay is not because of sabotage but because of some people throwing rocks to moving train and break the glass. As there is more coach added then the target get bigger.

Have a nice day

Sallam

Hashimoto

Freddie Kevin said...

Hashimoto,

I am happy to report that services have improved by leaps and bound. There are areas that are still haven't had any significant change - the public announcements.

If you read my post "Oon his knees,Pt2", this is the kind of journalism/ist you allude to, unethical and deceitful.

One can be partisan but be truthful and responsible.

Thank you bro for very responsible and true to yourself.

We may have our differences but we still engage. That makes us all very special. Malaysians who have our country at heart.

Salam
Freddie

PS

I had a very good day. My godson admitted for dengue was discharged this evening.

FK

Freddie Kevin said...

*Thank you bro for being very responsible and true to yourself.

FK