Tag Archives: Press Freedom

FREEDOM OF SPEECH- REVISITED (PART 2)

FOS2

The problem with trends in human society is that once a momentum is achieved, it cannot be easily stopped. It is when the situation has deteriorated almost irreparably that the realization comes that the trend has to be stopped.

Asian countries, particularly in Malaysia are fortunate they are not fully involved in this trend. Having seen the collapse and threat imposed through uninhibited freedom of speech, they should be able to observe and to balance freedom with responsibility for the true well-being of the Malaysian society.

The media are an institution in a democratic society. It informs people so that the people may be able to make informed judgements.

The government’s attitude to the press is predicated by the same concern for the public good. The press is free but that freedom may not be abused.

The press and the people should have the right to criticize the government so long that the criticism is valid and not be libelous or subversive or tending to instigate racial, religious or any other cause of violence.

It may be old-fashioned for the government to oversee the behavior of the press. But race and religion is a very sensitive issue. The open and provocation discussion of racial problems led to race riots in which 200 people were killed in 1969.

The instigators may have exercised their right, but why should they have this freedom to sacrifice other people live?

A responsible government must control the right of freedom of speech. But how is this to be done, especially in the world where one person’s opinion can reach millions of people in a tweet?

Previously we had the controversial detention-without-trial, the ISA to curb the extremists and the instigators. But apparently, some people advised the government to abolish it. And the government, in order to be popular, followed the advice.

We may have the Sedition Act. But this law is not a preventive measure, meaning that due legal process takes place only after the event.

The people who actually control the press may be the owner, or the chief editor and sub-editors, or the reporters or even the big advertisers. It is strange people often overlook the fact that these people have their own political views and agenda. Obviously, some of them want to shape the opinion of the public so as to be consistent with their views and beliefs.

Thus, it is only right if these people should be subjected to public scrutiny. After all, just like politicians, they have the access to the public and they can influence the people’s thinking.

The Printing Presses and Publication Act that require a license renewed every year should be expanded to online news portal. What makes them different than the mainstream printed presses? In fact, they are more mainstream in terms of readership and influence.

This is not an attempt to silence the critics, but when it comes to sensitive issues like race and religion, no one should be given a free hand.

The effect of new media today enables almost everyone who is responsible to no one but themselves the opportunity to say anything under the sun.

Ideally, self-control would be sufficient. But the ideal is not the world we live in. If the millions of people are to regulate themselves and be responsible for what they wrote, the relevant laws should be preserved, if not strengthened.

The phrase ‘I disagree with you, but will defend your right to say it’ must be replaced by ‘I will defend the right of the society if you choose to say something that is harmful to it.’

MatRodi

Tagged , , , ,

One Missing Jet, One Sunken Ferry, One Idiot

Media

Malaysia Airline is merely a third world country’s airline. Therefore it do not understand the concept of transparency, responsibility and even how to coordinate search and rescue operation.

So when MH370 disappeared, the Government of Malaysia chose to hide the real cause of the great tragedy, lied to the whole world and mislead the international media. Of course it was deliberately done in cohort with 26 other countries. Strangely for this incompetent country, it managed to put together one of the biggest international search efforts the world has ever seen. Some of them often, don’t even get along. This must have been some accidental and through a fluke by Malaysia.

That the MH370 tragedy is unprecedented in modern civil aviation history was overlooked or ignored. Could it be because the country is governed by a brown-skinned Malay Government which just cannot be smart and destined to fail? Or could it be that this is the country when dealing with Asian Financial Crisis in 1998 has thumbed its nose at the global superpower by refusing financial assistance? God knows.

The raw hatred for Malaysia’s handling in MH370 by some members of  international media is mind boggling. Nothing is right about MH370. The impunity with which international media is casting aspersions on the pilots is disturbing. Is there any highly publicised investigations into the pilots’ personal lives during Air France AF447 crashed?  The double standard must be due to MAS’ pilots are the potential terrorist thus it is acceptable for Capt Zaharie Ahmad Shah’s private life to be torn apart.

The maker of the plane, Boeing is not at fault. MAS is. Boeing’s aircraft was and will continue to be safe to use. That is why they had said practically nothing to explain why the aircraft can disappear in mid-air so completely.

Apparently after 60 days, Malaysia can only write a mere 5 pages report.  It is very lazy and unimaginative of the Government. A smart Government would fabricate information such as claims of sighted debris or the countless theories of the plane to ensure the MH370 tragedy rendered a thick report. 

Given such circumstances, the Prime Minister of Malaysia should resign so that the darling of the western media, Mr Opposition Leader can take over the country and solve the MH370 mystery in a split second. In fact the president of United States did the same thing when he struggled to handle  the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Did he?

Whatever, Malaysia must take heed of the advice by the impartial international media, a true preacher of press freedom which truly exercised its freedom by tapping the telephones of the leaders to run its story and accepted bribes to soften reports about all kinds of shenanigans by powerful people. 

Thank you Mr William Pesek-an award-winning Bloomberg journalist for giving top marks to South Korea for its handling of its ferry tragedy. We now know in order to get an A minus,we must modified the vehicle and overload it with passengers. When disaster happens, we send rescue boats only to pick up the crews and left students to die.  Special thanks to CNN too.

MatRodi

I wrote this article not because I expect any Western journalist to apologise. They will not change. I write simply to draw attention to the fact that they are not the impartial purveyor of truth that people assume them to be.

Tagged , , , , , , ,