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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

No matter how many journalists IGP arrests, it won't help to hide Najib's 'DIRTY LAUNDRY'

No matter how many journalists IGP arrests, it won't help to hide Najib's 'DIRTY LAUNDRY'
Indeed the arrests of the Malaysian online news portal, The Malaysian Insider’s journalists and publisher included, is raising serious concerns among many journalists here in Malaysia and elsewhere too. Even readers are waxed about the police raids and the ministry’s investigations.
There appears to be a general perception among the public that there is a form of press persecution taking form in the country parrarell with selective press freedom.
The issue, as the public is given to understand, is that the news portal ran a story implicating the Rulers about the hudud controversy.
And so the police reports were made against the news portal. And the efficient political-moitoring police swung into action. And accompanied by the Ministry of Communication and Multimedia, the premises of The Malaysian Insider were raided; equipments and / or documents seized; and first three and then another two, i.e. the Executive Director and the Publisher were carted away or detained by the police, respectively.
PM Najib
The court in finding the detention flawed, has freed three of them; the fate of the other two will also soon be known.
That too seems to be how the arrest, remand, or freeing drama is consistently unfurling these days and for some 100 odd count hauled up to date. Would the public be faulted for perceiving, “what a sheer waste of the courts’ time and the nation’s resources”?
Let us leave all the other counts out for the time being. Let us ask some mature and soul searching questions that can come commensurate with our national claims that we are ‘better then Singapore’ or ‘we are world class this and that’.
The media is in business and will always be so for as long as there is that cardinal rule that governs the media, i.e. the duty to inform for as long as humanity has the right to know.
Since the dawn of the Penny Press, the journalists have always been the ones who made that singular difference that eventually led politicians to fall to the pits or rise to meteoric heights. But in case we stop short, let us know too that journalism thrives not because of what the press spins but because the readers make a discerning interpretation and respond accordingly to the news in question.
So the lesson here is all the arrests and raids on the press is not going to make a politician shine. On the contrary, given the age old wisdom that the pen is mightier than the sword, and coupled with the speed of the networked, new age communication seen in online reporting, the media of today can be catastrophic to power brokers who think they can dwarf and muffle the press.
So, what should have been a greater wisdom is if the police have reason to believe that the media had a diabolic agenda to grind, then get the media to retract, apologize publicly and show proof that they are clean of guilt or as the case might be, to repent.
Why haul them up? Why carry out a raid? Why summon them to the station and nab them?
The lawman must not forget that in peace times and war, the journalist calls the shot. For as long as there are the public who have an unconditional need to know, the media will go to the ends of the world to get the reader the news.
That is what makes news.
Police, MCMC raid TMI office, detained three of their editors over hudud
Yes, press freedom cannot be compromised neither can it be abused. Yes journalists are no saints and media ethics do get compromised.
But then again, if all the media in Malaysia are dealt with in the same manner, speed and bully-like fashion, certainly public sympathy will not get into the way of the men in blue. But sadly, it is not.
Many readers are already questioning why a certain media can holler and scream racist statements almost every other day and yet it is not deemed as seditious. No raids take place. No arrests are in the works.
On another scale, yes Malaysia has a strong traditional piety about reverence to its Rulers. And if TMI had in any way tainted that revered respect that we all hold for our Rulers out of respect or fear, then by all means take them to court and let the media pay through its nose for the maliciousness.
Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar
Why noose the TMI fellows with the sedition charge? Did their published news unleash millions of Malaysians on to the street with nasty Molotov cocktails and grenades?
We must grow up as a nation. Not slide back and keep earning brickbats from the global community of respected guardians of civil society and media.
And shouting sedition all too often will not remedy to enrich the fabric of media ethics. On the contrary it will eventually affect to the contrary, i.e. make a mockery of our very laws and the law enforcers.
Pray sanity rules over the fears and fearful of politics in this growing up nation. It is too late in the day and times to see a Myanmar or a Pol Pot succeed in this country. This is the New Age where rules of the emerging, new media are yet to be crafted the world over. - MAILBAG

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