Saturday, October 27, 2018

Returning the Press to Pressmen and Women

A Kadir Jasin

PREAMBLE: Views expressed herein are entirely mine. I am writing in my personal capacity as a blogger. It has nothing to do with whatever position I may hold.

Dreams of free, responsible and fair media
THE POST-MAY 9 Malaysian media have one very important task to perform - exorcising themselves of the ghosts and demons of the past.

The signs that the ghosts and the demons of the past are still residing in the deep recesses of the subconscious of the Malaysian editors and journalists are clear and apparent.

[Anonymous comments will not be published. Please use real or pseudonym. Thank you.]

In the meetings I had had so far with them – some officially but many privately – the FAQs were: How free are we under the Pakatan Harapan government and what advice do you have for us?

My answer is: Your freedom is limited only by your professionalism, expertise and sense of fair play.

You can be sure that there will no longer the “wahyu” (instructions) from Putrajaya.

But I can’t guarantee if some overzealous or uninitiated low-level civil servants still call you for a “chit-chat” because you are accused of misquoting or misinterpreting a minister’s statement on some sensational issues like LGBT.

In such a situation, my feeling is this: Just listen to them and, where possible, explain to them the workings of the media.

Bear in mind many press secretaries and media officers serving the inexperienced ministers are themselves inexperienced.

I deliberately used the phrase “my feeling” instead of my advice because I am not in the business of advising you. I am not your advisor.

My job specifications clearly state that I advise only the Prime Minister. Incidentally that makes my job as Special Advisor on Media and Communication to the Prime Minister very easy.

What advice can I give to a man who is a consummate and experienced communicator?

Just think of this: I was born in 1947 and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s first newspaper article was published a year earlier.

My main task is to assist efforts to develop and promote government agenda of ensuring that the media have the freedom to provide check and balance to the administration of the government.

Where They Belong

As I told the ICA Regional Conference 2018 at the Mara Institute of Technology University (UiTM) on Thursday, once the possessed journalists, editors and media executives had been thoroughly exorcised, they should be debriefed and imbued with the ideals of fair and independent journalism.

This is to be followed by the depoliticising of the newsrooms and boardrooms.

In the case of media people who refused to be exorcised or where the devils in them refused to leave, they should take a hike or be removed.

In the post-May 9 electoral upset, it was discovered that at least one major Umno-owned media company was actually not owned by Umno.

Yes Umno still holds some shares but not enough to control the company. Most of its shares had been sold to government-linked investment companies (GLIC).

The right to call the shots in this particular media company actually lies with the GLICs.

The whole idea of this exorcising exercise and the proposal for the introduction of self-regulation is to ensure that the likes of Habibul Rahman Kadir and Paul Stadlan have no change to play god to the Malaysian media.

Ghosts and demons of this nature should be sent to purgatory permanently.

Habibul and Stadlan were often quoted as the principal sources of “wahyu” (instructions) from Putrajaya during the Najib era.

One encouraging development since the PH victory was the move by editors and representatives of media owners to consider the formation of the Malaysian Media Council as the supreme self-regulatory body for the media industry.

It is really quite shameful that we are among the few countries in the world that do not have a media council.

A media council that is legislatively empowered should be able to help create a more conducive environment for the Malaysian media and may even help to bring back readers, viewers and listeners to the traditional media.

To borrow the term used by a member of the Information Bureau of the Pakatan Harapan, the new buzzword for the government-media relationship is engagement.

Not a bad idea. It is better for the media, government and stakeholders to be constantly engaged than to continue with the incestuous relationship of the past era.

So push the envelope, test the boundary and up the ante but please do so in a fair and responsible manner.



NO to thieves and corrupters said...

Bersatu puts up 'No Entry' sign for Najib, Zahid, Nazri and Azeez, said Mukhriz.
I hope he is not joking, these are just the tip of the iceberg, it is certainly not enough.
Bersatu must refuse entry also to MPs like Shahideen, Sabri, Tajuddin, and all those yapping like hungry dogs and crocodiles after Tun and PH.

Mustapha and Anifah are the exception. Who else? Pick carefully because once you open the door to thieves and corrupters, PH is finished.

Datuk, why did Roland Kiandee PAC Chairman defer the 1MDB and SST investigations? We need transparency here otherwise replace Roland immediately.

Don't fall on your own sword said...

this is such an interesting title in Malaysiakini:
'Grass snake' Bersatu luring Umno 'pythons', hisses 'poisonous' Ku Li

The truth is there, how can Bersatu keep out the pythons, poisonous to all, devouring all in their fight for survival?

Any UMNO or BN MPs for that matter who resign and enter into any of PH's parties must not be given any positions, put them under a period of trial as independents, see if they support any laws passed in Parliament by PH. You have written extensively of internal sabotage, surely Bersatu or any PH party does not want to undergo another period of uncertainty, the rakyat is now very discerning and can see and judge if any hypocrisy is involved.
PH must put up a name list of those barred from entering the PH parties, and the names given by Mukhriz is just a few, I can name many more who at the slightest dedak will turn and betray without any compunction, for them the cash is king mantra is their king!
So beware of Brutus and the trojan horses.

wansee c said...

In a recent interview with SINAR,Tun M said that he is not a magician. I, however, totally disagree with him. Not only is he a remarkable PM for 22 years and then made an unbelievable come-back in power, but also an incredible part-time "magician" who is capable of making the impossible possible by just snapping his fingers!
During his previous tenure, Malaysia had forged ahead with his ingenious and astute formula which then led to the title of "Asian Tiger". Everyone was proud of the accolade.
After the GE14 victory, he has once again brought the nation into another even higher level of magical play. For these 6 months, we have had so much to hear, to watch, to read, to write, to anticipate....about the changes, surprises,jaw-dropping news and many more. Everyday everyone is thrilled to bits.
All of a sudden, Tun M's magic brings about the freedom of speech and press. The nation and its people are finally able to break free from the oppression and tyranny of the previous regime. All the credit should go to Tun's magic touch that hand the voice back to the people and restore the right and liberty of press.
He, indeed, can do everything and anything. I wish he could use his magical powers to CLONE himself, so that Malaysia will forever have him around to steer the country in the right direction and safeguard its people.
Undoubtedly, Tun M is a God-sent legend with great insight and certainly there will be no one can ever replace his stature simply because he is the one and only Mahathir Bin Mohammad on the planet. Long live Tun! Hidup Tun!

Hakimi Abdul Jabar said...

Sebagai ahli veteran parti PPBM/Bersatu, saya ajukan persoalan saya kepada Presiden parti. Bekas peguam negara, Apandi Ali dengan terang menyatakan tiada kesalahan jenayah dilakukan individu terkenal dengan jolokan MO1 itu berkaitan kes SRC International dan dana RM2.6 BILLION. Manakala, Peguam Negara yang baru Tommy Thomas dan Sulaiman Abdullah yang mengetuai pendakwaan telahpun memulakan prosiding pendakwaan jenayah dalam Mahkamah Yang Mulia berkaitan kes SRC International. Sekiranya terdapat penipuan yang jelas dan terancang oleh bekas peguam negara itu, mengapakah tiada sebarang tindakan terhadap beliau untuk memastikan kemelut ini tidak akan berlaku di masa yang akan datang?’s-accounts

About Me

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I was born in 1947 in Kedah. I came from a rice farming family. I have been a journalist since 1969. I am the Editor-in-Chief of magazine publishing company, Berita Publishing Sdn Bhd. I was Group Editor NST Sdn Bhd and Group Editor-in-Chief of NSTP Bhd between 1988 and 2000. I write fortnightly column “Other Thots” in the Malaysian Business magazine, Kunta Kinte Original in Berita Harian and A Kadir Jasin Bercerita in Dewan Masyarakat. Books: Biar Putih Tulang (1998), Other Thots – Opinions & Observations 1992-2001 (2001), The Wings of an Eagle (2003), Mencari Dugalia Huso (2006), Damned That Thots (2006), Blogger (2006), PRU 2008-Rakyat Sahut Cabaran (2008), Komedi & Tragedi-Latest in Contemporary Malaysian Politics (2009) and Membangun Bangsa dengan Pena (2009).