Friday, September 26, 2008

Journalist Voice

Written by a journalist, Helen Ang. I really like the things mentioned in the article below, so please read and have your say.

Police arrested Teresa Kok at about half to midnight. I received a sms shortly after. At 3.30am, I received another sms saying Shieh (Syed Azidi Syed Aziz) and two other bloggers have been rounded up under ISA too. It turned out to be a false alarm; the sms did however qualify that the intelligence was unconfirmed.

Then yesterday evening, police picked up Shieh, ostensibly on sedition charges. So not only were the sms-es quick off the block, they were not far off the mark either. Shieh was first presumably to fly the national flag upside down in blogosphere running up to Aug 31. Where does it say a computer-graphic the wrong way up is seditious?

In any case, the Kickdefella blogger righted his inverted flag after Anwar Ibrahim’s win in Permatang Pauh.

On Sept 15, Anwar spoke at a gathering in Kelana Jaya stadium. He said mainstream media demonised him as well as the Opposition partnership. Teresa has also previously complained that Utusan Malaysia misrepresented her. Presently, the pejorative reporting by the same newspaper helped lay the groundwork for her detention, as what happened with the Hindraf 5.

Re-looking the concept of Merdeka on the eve of Malaysia Day, Anwar told the crowd that Malaysia must be liberated from corruption, racist politics, ISA and be “Merdeka from media who are liars and ‘fitnah’.”

Any more than mainstream media are believable, how so are sms-es unreliable? But cellphone texting is really a mere tool to mobilise the people, reminiscent of the Yellow Wave of People Power in the Philippines which toppled President Joseph Estrada in 2001. What then? Licence the use of telephone with annual permits?

Police have so far have given no indication they think Umno warlord Ahmad Ismail’s comment on Chinese is seditious. And in any case, how different is the essence of Ahmad’s remarks to the substance of what Dr Mahathir Mohamed has been blogging?

tan hoon cheng 01 120908On a further note, clarification made on behalf of Teresa would have convinced right-minded Malaysians that she is in the clear. Yet police will not release her.

It is not always that police make sense. They didn’t when taking in Sin Chew Daily reporter Tan Hoon Cheng under ISA. And police did not even provide any rationale when they disallowed members of the public holding a lit candle at last weekend’s vigil for ISA detainees. Police were appeased after the flame was snuffed, so it would appear that unlit candles are not a red flag to the bull.

When preaching about ‘the rule of law’, some forget that police do not observe the rules of fair play, so for them to apply the law justly is moot.

Bloggers do ‘national service’

Undeniably a few alpha bloggers are influential in shaping public opinion.

raja petra released from prison 090508 04Teresa blogs, and Raja Petra Kamarudin himself mentioned how important it was for him to be at large to disseminate info during this pivotal period – Sept 16 plus one, a day, a week or a month – when public opinion could tip political outcomes. If you wanted to gauge Raja Petra’s influence, the ‘judiciary reformation’ online petition is a yardstick; of the 25,700 names, thousands lent their signatures at his urging in Malaysia Today.

There is assuredly a crucial context to Raja Petra commanding the interest of the police and political subtext to his ISA arrest.

Star editor-in-chief Wong Chun Wai penned in his Sunday column: “Malaysia Today website editor Raja Petra Kamarudin is not regarded as a journalist in the true sense – he is more of a writer and, certainly, a political player. As a critical writer, he makes no bones of his plans to bring down the Government and openly speaks at ceramahs for the Opposition”.

Haris Ibrahim openly speaks at ceramahs for the Opposition too. It’s entirely possible he and other socio-political bloggers I’m acquainted with write for political reasons. What’s so criminal about that? Chun Wai and his ilk do the same. However, having no truck with new money, i.e. undisclosed funding channelled into New Media recently, many socio-political bloggers write pro bono.

Personally, I prefer reading blogs which have no pretence of their volunteer partisanship. The accredited mainstream media now paid to blog in portals staked for themselves the traditional virtues of balanced reporting, objectivity and impeccable standards. You think?

newspaper coverage sudden balanced view coverage of opposition headline 120308But if original-recipe bloggers are truly as unskilled and slanted as the self-professed ‘award-winning’ professional journalists parachuted into cyberspace would have it, why should blogs even blip on BN and police radars? Our Brenda Starrs and Clark Kents would render such amateur citizen journos wholly 'irrelevant'.

In a free marketplace of ideas, there is a robust contestation of views. For most of the latter 50 years, we had a one-party rule and a single ideology to rule the roost. Now that there is competition, our authorities quickly suspend the trading.

All in a day’s sermonising

The agenda that Chun Wai attributes to Raja Petra – planning to bring down the Government – is not one that is intent on destroying the country. A government falling only means some cronies lose their jobs and the ones filling their shoes get a shot at doing a better job of it.

Neither will bringing down the Government pose a threat to Malaysia’s security nor jeopardise peace and order. There is such a process called peaceful transition of power carried out in an orderly manner.

Compare Malaysia with our best friend Israel. Both style themselves democracies. Both have race laws and a strong theocratic aspect to the state. Modern Israel is only a decade older than modern Malaysia but the Israeli government has changed many times.

abdullah ahmad badawi najib razak pc change portfolio 170908 06Israel has had a dozen Prime Ministers in office 31 terms, with a few becoming PM several times. Some of her ruling coalitions have been unable to finish out the years of their electoral mandate, some lasting two years. Shimon Peres was PM seven months before giving way to Benjamin Netanyahu in 1996.

I'm not saying we should emulate Israel, I’m just pointing out the similarities and differences.

There are those argue that Anwar soliciting crossovers is immoral, and others agonise over ethics. Collapse of government through MPs switching allegiance is not treason. It’s political procedure, though one may not approve or advocate such moves.

I hardly had great expectations of a takeover on Sept 16. If anything, I’d blogged before in The People’s Parliament that like other folks not enamoured of him, I’m wary of Anwar. A strong dose of distrust in senior politicians is healthy. But at least on Tuesday, I felt upbeat enough to write ‘Great eggpectations’,

a sequel to ‘Eggciting times’. It was my attempt at satiric humour but truth is stranger than fiction.

With all due sympathy for Hoon Cheng’s 24-hour ISA ordeal, the manner in which police handled her detention was farcical. The mechanics of Malaysia’s comic leadership is plain for the world to see and no longer funny. It is the incompetence displayed in BN governance that is downright ‘immoral’ ... if people insist on using the word. It’s an immorality that splits our sides, and hurts.

Step down or Stand Still

After a long period without technology access, finally I can online back. Past these few days, I tend to realise that there is not much news about UMNO top guns debating about power transition, MCA with the elections or even Pakatan Rakyat about the New Government. I'm quite surprised but who cares, its just politics.

I was just reading my online paper when this particular post got my attention. It was about Pak Lah in a Q&A session with 100 journalist. I will paste it down later so that all of you who will be dropping by my blog could read it. Basically the Q&A was about the power transition since Umno had an emergency meeting.

I really think Pak Lah is old. The way he answers is no base answers. He is running a nation and wants the journalist and the citizens to guess when is he going to leave or pass the PM post. This is not a guessing game or a post of some Pre-school monitor, we are talking about a nation, a nation where is it multi race, multicultural, multi ethnic and a nation where politicians get to play the race card, nation where ISA is the government's puppet and etc.

So what does the PM mean by " You can keep on guessing when I'm going to leave". With all respect Mr. PM, "If you want to leave 2010, its fine, done settle. Just say it and stop it. Or since most of your loyal supporters back stabbed you and wants you to leave early just say so!" Why are you making us, the people suffer? Like it or not some of us don't want any of you to sit on the President seat, we prefer someone younger and someone who can understand the upcoming generation better.

Example of the Q:

Jr : Are you going on leave soon?

PM: I am going on leave? Am I going on leave? How did you know? I am not going on leave, I have a lot of work to do.

What kind or answer is this. Is he even listening to the interview. Most of the questions asked by the journalists were surely related to the emergency meeting. But the answer given was, I have to discuss, I have to talk to Najib. So I want to ask, What did they talked in the Emergency Meeting?

Me and other people of this country would just like to know what is really going on, about the power transition because we are the ones who will be effected the most. What is the rational of having a PM who jokes and does not answer or even concentrate in an interview. You all can even watch the video and can see that our PM was not paying attention to the press. Is this what we what? Most of us are very familiar our PM's words and promises. Parliament will not be dissolved but it did the next day, Fuel will not hike till August but did in the same week after the announcement. So I think you get the picture...

The Q&A:

Will the Umno election be postponed to March?

The election is based on whatever decision that is reached during the divisional meetings [...] It's like last time, there is no change, it's just a bit of delay.

What is the reason for that?

Err... give what... what's the word just now... way... (turns to his deputy Najib Abdul Razak, seated next to him).. It's to facilitate an early transition.

Does that mean you won't be defending your post in March?

I have not announced any decision as this particular point is concerned. I intend to do it before the division meetings begin (on Oct 9).

Do you think the members will accept the decision to further put off the party election?

The supreme council members have agreed to it and it is not something that will cause difficulty. If we postpone the divisional elections involving other procedures, that will be troublesome.

Are you going on leave soon?

I am going on leave? Am I going on leave? How did you know? I am not going on leave, I have a lot of work to do.

Could you just clarify what you mean by ‘to facilitate an early transition'?

Whatever that I'll need to do later will be decided between me and Najib.

Are you going to stick to the 2010 deadline?

If (the transition) is brought forward, then 2010 is off.

Are you prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice if it's better for the party for you to leave early?

As far as I am concerned, I love my party. Even in the most difficult circumstances, I never left.

I did not join Umno 46 (Semangat 46), I never joined any other party, I've never been on the platform of an opposition party to speak against Umno. There was no record of me going against the party at any time at all.

Is there any plan to impose a limit for the presidency term in future?

Like MCA? We did not make any decision like that yet and have no such policy.

On the early transition, are you under tremendous pressure to quit?

No, nothing to do with that. Everything has got to do with my work, when I am done with my work, then I am done.

Do you feel that your colleagues in the Umno supreme council are asking you to leave early?

No, no, nothing (like that) happened. Maybe there are two, three who felt such way but most of them have no reason to pressure (me) because they know I have a cordial relation(ship) with Najib.

We have good consensus on everything and there should be no question about it.

Is it right to say that you will not contest the party post in March?

It will be my decision, right or not, it will be mine. You can go on guessing, the decision will be mine.
(taken frm Malaysiakini)

Link to the video

Sunday, September 14, 2008

From Politics to Racial Sentiment

There has been alot of thing which has been happening lately. Lets talk about an issue.If you all remember, the Ahmad Ismail speech was turned from a political expect to a racial issue. I blame both the politician and also the reporter. I have my reasons for saying so.

First of all, let me say about the, Datuk Ahmad Ismail. News claims that he uttered a phrase which is claimed can stir racial issues. But i wonder, I don't really know what did Ahmad Ismail say because, no other paper reported the news and it was a Chinese newspaper. Anyway based on the statement made by Ahmad Ismail, he did say about "Orang Cina ialah penumpang di tanahair kita" but it was taken out of context. What he meant was based on the Historical things where Chinese people and Indian people were immigrants brought into by British people and therefore they got better education that our own Malays. How can he say that? British gave opportunities to everyone at that time. What did the old Malays did. Just because they were British people and due to the hatred that the Malays had on British, they send their kids to "Sekolah Pondok". Sekolah pondok is where children are being taught religion and faith. So whose fault was it? I didn't condemn any religion and faith, but the fast is that nowadays, people are heading to neo- postmodern theory. Where people are much into more rational and scientific approach.

Anyway why did Ahmad Ismail said those things in a election campaign? Its a little ridiculous talk about history? You be the judge...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

No time for politics

Sorry Malaysiakini, TV3 news, NTV 7, The STar. I cant read or do the usual thing because there is "pain in the ass" event called exams. History of English Language or short form HEL was really HELL. I read so much really alot and remembered so many things. There was no time for it. Today we had Mass Media & Society. Was a good paper but not enough time. 2 hours for a degree paper. If the university wants typical Malaysian work then 2 works can lah, but then we want to excel lah. Need to do something about it.

There are so many things happening in the nation i cant focus. Wait lah till my exams are over and i really hope to boost my GPA. Anyway, me and friends are doing some studies together and it really helps. Hahaha. Syok.