Sunday, January 24, 2016



(Here is the promo of a documentary on Utusan Melayu I produced.)

The title of this article could also be: To criticize the opposition and negative NGOs is to promote them and how the Bersih protests movement can be described as a media creation. In fact, even the opposition that we have in Malaysia today can also be described as a media creation.

If only the newspaper editors and columnists and journalists knew better…not to be attracted to ambush journalism that had created all these as they had highlighted ideas and views and objections that were not newsworthy to be given the unnecessary attention and to those who would utter them in forums and spaces of their own creation.

There is no denying that Malaysian journalism is third rate. In fact even Malaysian Intellectualism is also third rate. And for that matter Malaysian Common Sense and Logic are also third rate.

Malaysian Politicking too is third rate.

How many Malaysian intellectuals have been sought by the prestigious groups or institutions for their views on anything?

But what is first rate in Malaysia are Malaysian Cynicism and Malaysian Skepticism which unfortunately had developed from the third rate Malaysian Journalism and Malaysian Intellectualism mentioned earlier.

Malaysia now recognizes Cynics and Skeptics as Pseudo-Intellectuals whose views must be given credence with space in the print and electronic media and some times in the streets, when all that they can do is to carry placards with a few words that do not add up, except to naught.

Malaysian Journalism was first rate when Tanah Melayu or Melayu Land was embarking on a campaign to wrest independence or Merdeka from Britain which we finally managed to get on 31 August, 1957.

It was when the editors and journalists knew who their common enemies where and how to write to bring pride to the Melayu race.

But alas, only Utusan Melayu was doing this but not the others, especially the English language newspapers that were then established and controlled by the British.

I was a reluctant journalist for thirteen months and thirteen days reporting for Utusan Melayu, the nationalist newspaper, when I was denied a scholarship from MARA, to pursue my masters’ degree education in film directing at Columbia University in New York City.

The reason because Mara officers did not like it that I could get a place to study at such a university they knew then which is an Ivy League one, which I did not know until much later.

Mara only gave scholarships to Melayu wanting to study in the non-competitive universities in America and elsewhere. So no wonder of the scores of Melayu and Bumiputera who had managed to get scholarships and study loans from this agency, none has become prominent internationally.

I could be the first and only person to have such an accolade, by virtue of the fact that I am in the business which can give a person an international profile overnight.

Anyway, what can we say of Malaysian journalism today? Not much.

Most of the journalists are not so well educated and the editors are mostly cronies whose positions in the newspaper organizations they are in, could be terminated at the whims and fancies of the higher-ups as some had experienced before.

And not many of them including their editors had formal training at some of the major schools of journalism; so most are in the line of business through experience, which unfortunately they cannot use once they leave journalism; they cannot teach journalism at the universities in Malaysia.

And no Malaysian has ever worked at any newspaper abroad; yet, some are said to be very good writing in English.

Most of the newspapers, mostly the English language ones and also those in Mandarin and Tamil publish foreign stories they cull from the international press agencies; not many of their columnists too have managed to gain any reputation abroad as scholars or intellectuals; they are mostly hacks who write because they are working with a newspaper.

And when they leave, the columns they used to have go with them.

In Malaysia there is a penchant for the English language newspapers to give overemphasis to the woes and trials and tribulations experienced by the Chinese; those that the Melayu experience are not accepted to be newsworthy.

And in any day, stories on the Melayu in such newspapers are given scant attention, unless if they are dramatic and are reported elsewhere which normally involve some calamity.

Personal achievements of the Chinese in sports are also given wide coverage.

No wonder they lose their readership from amongst the Melayu, so the English language newspapers survive because of the advertisement revenue they get, and this is happening while the number of pages continues to be fewer by the month.

The Melayu language newspapers suffers because their editors do not trust in the qualified and better trained; they prefer not to engage them and allow their own staff to write from inside their editorial room things they do not encounter personally but which they can write nevertheless by guessing.

And this was how the opposition was able to encroach into their territories and with their editors, columnists and journalists overacting to the impulses they got; they have managed to surrender the spaces in their newspapers to them.

The way the opposition and negative NGOs had done was to create unnecessary issues and from there they could get whatever they wanted to say out in the newspapers as news or commentaries and those which are mostly of the negative sort, which the opposition and negative NGOs did not mind as long as they are seen and heard.

In the end the mainstream newspapers and also television stations had started to serve the opposition and negative NGOs this way, until some were even brave enough to establish a new protest movement called BERSIH who are bent on seizing some major areas in the city center of Kuala Lumpur to shout slogans which are mostly hollow and empty and devoid of any sense.

Yet, they had managed to do that, even with the ‘help’ of the senior police officers who had become the legal advisors and also public relations managers for BERSIH, by promoting them, by criticizing them, and even threatening to take their leaders with legal action.

But what ended up happening is that the Malaysian journalism and police had become complicit to the acts of such a group whose leaders had also become brash in their words and deeds, because the more they do so, the more they think they could get coverage in the media and from the police.

It is therefore surprising how even the editors of the mainstream newspapers and television news programs and also the police chiefs could not realize this and who would continue to do the bidding for the opposition and negative NGOs each time they craved to get some publicity and exposure in the media.

The more they criticize the Bersih movement and the negative NGOs for their actions, the more they are promoted and publicized.

This article is also about how to manipulate the mainstream media and police into helping the opposition and negative NGOs, a course that is not taught even at the best schools of journalism in the world.  

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