Thursday, July 30, 2009
Mistakes are made daily in the newsroom. Sometimes we make poor judgment calls. Unlike other professions, we cannot hold back our work to the following day. This is especially so for those working at the news desk section. The editors and reporters at Kosmo have acknowledged their over-sight.
As a fellow journalist, I understand their problem. I hope the various advertising associations would also respond accordingly. To err is human, to forgive is divine. Let's give our support to TV3 for its effort to pay a tribute to Yasmin Ahmad this Saturday at 9pm. The Majalah Tiga special edition will be followed by the screening of "Mukhsin."
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Referring to the article in question, the journalists - who started the ball rolling - noted that the article was written "less than 24 hours after she was buried at a time when her family was still reeling from the shock of her death."
That again is unprecedented as punishment against a newspaper has often come from the government or a political group but never the advertisers, or via a protest from fellow journalists.
This blogger would not want to reproduce the article here as a mark of respect to Yasmin.
The editor took my call politely and thanked me for my views and criticism. That's their side of the story. I do not think there was any malice but it was perhaps poor judgement on their part. There is also the question of human decency, which they have overlooked.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
LET’S put politics aside. Most of us have never met Teoh Beng Hock, the aide of a Selangor exco member, but Malaysia is angry with the circumstances leading to the death of this young man.
A man who is a novice to politics has died in a most tragic way with his body found sprawled on the fifth floor of a 20-storey building after a 10-hour grilling by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
A decent man, son, husband- and father-to-be is tragically gone, at a time when he and his loved ones were about to start a new chapter in their lives the next day.
There are many unanswered questions over how he died and Malaysians with any conscience should speak up and demand answers.
It’s not a question of protecting the integrity and credibility of the MACC; the issue here is about knowing the truth.
Malaysians find it hard to accept any suggestion that he committed suicide nor can we accept any insensitive innuendoes over his death.
The job is now with the police. They must investigate the case professionally, efficiently and quickly. We want the findings to be transparent. In fact, the Government should accept the setting up of a Royal Commission of Inquiry, with the power to call up witnesses. This is the only way to satisfy the public who have questioned the credibility of our institutions.
That will also prove that the Government has nothing to hide and is as interested as everyone else to get to the truth.
The Prime Minister and the Home Minister have both given their assurances that the case would be investigated thoroughly and when the Cabinet meets on Wednesday, it is most certain to be a top item on the agenda.For more, click here...
Thursday, July 16, 2009
It's understandable that his death has upset party members, friends and members of the public as there are mysterious circumstances. The integrity of the MACC has been questioned, purportedly for selective prosecution and fingers have been pointed at the MACC. The emotional outburst is expected but it would be best to let a full investigations be carried out first. Not many people would want to hear that but that is the only option.
The MACC on its part must review its standard operating procedure. All questionings must be recorded from all angles. In Hong Kong, the ICAC would not even allow a person being questioned to sit on a table with edges. He faces a camera in front and a camera on his back. That is the extend the ICAC would take and for the sake of its own integrity, the MACC has to consider this move, if it hasn't.
It does not matter what political beliefs we have, the death of Teoh is tragic and sad. It should not have happened at all. Everything must be done to find out the truth. Given the background of the incident, where the MACC was holding him, the investigations may be best handled by the police and a Royal Commission of Inquiry. That could be the only way to satisfy the public.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
The series of feel-good promises by Najib Tun Razak on his 100th day in office must have made an impact. There were other factors including the PAS in-fighting, which must have left some impression on the minds of the voters. PAS deputy president Nasaruddin Mat Isa made a last minute entry into the area but his admission that he was initially banned from campaigning did not help. Retracting his statement did not help for sure.
But the lure of development mattered the most. The promise of a RM7million bridge could not be ignored. Beside the strong campaigning by the Deputy Prime Minister, another personality which helped made the difference was Mustapha Mohamad. Known as Mr Clean, he has plenty of admirers in Kelantan. The fact that there was no element of sabotaging within Kelantan Umno showed that they have united.
Umno must be very encouraged by the results of this by-election, losing by only 65 votes. This could just be the beginning for the BN in Kelantan. But for PAS, their supporters would say that a win is still a win, even with a majority of one vote.
Monday, July 13, 2009
PKR MP Wee Choo Keong has the support of party vice-president Azmin Ali (picture). The Bukit Antarabangsa state assemblyman has asked that Wee be given a chance to explain his allegation that a Selangor state exco member has ties with the underworld. He wants Wee to be allowed to explain to party leaders clearly so that the party leadership understands the issue better.
The controversy seems to have deepened with Azmin claiming that Selangor Mentri Besar Khalid Ibrahim has been summoned by PKR leaders to explain several party grouses. Today, a group of PKR Youth members handed Azmin a memorandum detailing unhappiness over the appointment of local councillors. The same group is said to have staged a protest at a ceramah by Anwar Ibrahim last week.
The Malaysian Insider reported that Azmin continued his tirade against the Selangor state government, trading barbs with state exco member Teresa Kok at the state assembly today. Kok had earlier called Wee a "shit stirrer." Wee - who has come under criticism by state exco member Ronnie Liu - wrote in his blog today that he welcomed police investigations into his allegation.
If Wee has bad blood with his former DAP comrades, particularly Liu, the PKR problem is between Azmin and Khalid. The relationship between the two is essentially functional. Selangor state exco member Elizabeth Wong, who had to stay away from politics for a while following the nude photo controversy, is said to be a victim of Pakatan Rakyat's murky politics in the state, where the stakes are high.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
She has challenged Wee to name the state exco member concerned who had people involved in "underground business activities" carrying out their meetings at the state secretariat. Wee has alleged that this was an open secret. Wee did not name names but reporters called Ronnie Liu on Sunday to comment on what Wee had said. Liu, in turn, has accused Wee of taking pot shots at DAP, reminding supporters that Wee, an ex-DAP MP, had a long standing feud with the DAP. Looks like real bad blood here.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
He has not just applauded the move to stop the use of English to teach Maths and Science, the official stand of the BN and PR, but he has asked for Jawi to be reintroduced as the foundation for Bahasa Melayu. Zulkifili has defended his stand, saying there was no reason to be apologetic as Malay was the national language. In any case, what good are the English-speaking Filipinos who are merely exporting maids - that's his own words in his blog - and he has also called for the political will to close down all non-national schools.
With views like Zul Nordin, no wonder both sides of the political divide are adopting a similar stand in this issue. The reality is that on the ground, continuing the use of English to teach the two subjects would mean more failures. To fail in English and to fail further in Maths and Science was not acceptable. That's the logic. Those who push for the use of English are in the minority, let's face it.
Dr Mahathir Mohamad's blog may have garnered much support for English but if Utusan Malaysia and the Chinese newspapers were to carry out their own surveys, they too, would have overwhelming support for the use of Bahasa and Chinese. The only difference is that MCA politicians and the educationists prefer English to be used at the secondary level. Not all the way, as some other politicians prefer, to appease their voters.
So in Malaysia, you have a situation where you study almost everything in BM, Chinese or Tamil at the primary level, then study in BM for most subjects at the secondary level. At the local universities, the lectures are in BM but most of the books are in English. No wonder, we have half-baked graduates from local universities. When I was studying in UKM, I had friends who were required to attend English proficiency classes asking me to help draft out their essays - so they could memorise it line for line for their exams. I never heard of such a thing until I entered the university. I am told that's pretty normal in all local universities.
So, in the name of nationalism and realpolitik, we are prepared to forego our competitive edge. If we are not proficient in English, we will go nowhere. That's a fact. Except for Indonesia, the minute we fly out of Malaysia via KLIA or LCCT, we have to start using other languages. In Hong Kong, they have gone back to using English to teach Maths and Science. The fact that HK is under Chinese rule has not affected their decision. Yet, the ever practical HK people understand the economic-political value of Chinese.
Enough has been said by all sides. The fact is that a decision has been made and we have to get used to the idea that those who wanted to keep English has failed. It's better that the focus of their energy is engaged towards ensuring more teaching hours in English and training proper English teachers for our schools. Read Patrick Teoh on Zul in niamah.blogspot.com
Friday, July 10, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
Friday, July 3, 2009
Hadi is talking rubbish as the Malays who would benefit from the 30% equity requirements would surely not be the poor Malay fishermen or farmers in Terengganu. It would be the statutory bodies or rich Malays who can afford to pay for the shares.
Even the party's reformist Khalid Samad supported a resolution to ban Sisters in Islam. He then claimed it was a mistake but the party didn't bother to retract the resolution. Perak Mentri Besar Nizar Jamaluddin called for a halt to the use of English to teach Maths and Science.
PAS is not just playing up religious issue but also exploiting racial issues when it called for a halt to the use of English and for the 30% bumi shares rule to be retained. What PAS is telling their supporters nationwide at ceramahs in villages is that Umno is selling out to the non-Malays. Period.