Thursday, April 19, 2007

Perdana Discourse Series – Media and National Development

Tun Dr M - Freedom of Media Is Not Absolute

Tun Dr Mahathir in his keynote address at Perdana Discourse Series said that there is no absolute freedom in media and any country as well. Media is just like a knife, it can be use for good like masterpiece woodcarving and bad as stabbing people, he added. Tun Dr. Mahathir in his conclusion said the most important is the people and their mentality in the country itself on how they perceive the information given by the media.

Tun Dr M also stressed on:


• We need information. We maybe do something wrong if we do not have any information on the matter that we concentrate on.
• Government just presumed on what is good for them and not to forget majority is not always right.

Media & Rakyat

• The media must be responsible and skillful enough to attract ‘rakyat’
• Media shapes people’s mind and value system in the country.
• Media must restraint their report to avoid crucial problem like racial issues.
• In order to contribute to nation building, media can play a big role in ensuring the right government to choose by people.
• Press freedom in Malaysia today is worse than during his time as PM.
• Media somehow must have limitation in order to maintain national stability and development.
• People always do not act rationally in sensationalized reporting. Common sense is not very common nowadays.

Law& Bloggers

• Speaking on rules of law in Malaysia, the purpose of law is to overcome misdeeds but we must analyze the cause of misdeed itself.
• Law can be abuse to perpetrate some leaders.
• Leaders sometime hide some issues (news blackout). This what make blogs more credible and interesting when they revealed some of the hidden issues.
• Bloggers registration – Such registration is not necessary.

Datuk A. Kadir Jasin

Datuk AKJ( lebih menekankan kepada perspektif sejarah dalam ucapannya. Beliau melihat media dahulu lebih kearah Melayu kerana sifat bangsa Melayu lebih kepada perjuangan kemerdekaan dan menyemarakkan semangat nasionalisme di kalangan mereka.

Salah satu contohnya, adalah skrip karya Tun Dr M dikenali sebagai Gagak Hitam yang terkenal di Kedah untuk menyemarakan semangat perjuangan kemerdekaan.

Kerajaan menganggap media sebagai pasangan. Menteri – menteri akan sentiasa melantik individu dalam industri media terutamanya wartawan untuk membantu mereka dalam mengendalikan hal – hal hubungan media.

Datuk AKJ lebih suka mempraktikkan konsep tiada sekatan dalam blognya. Namun beliau masih berpegang teguh kepada platform media konvensional dengan tidak memasukkan unsur – unsur tidak senonoh dan fakta yang tidak benar.

And the best thing is Datuk AKJ menyifatkan our big kahuna in government mungkin confused between Blog dan Goblog…..

Steven Gan
Steven Gan(founder of Malaysiakini) said in his intro of his speech, Tun Dr M is a man full of contradiction. He wished that this kind of discourse should be held long time ago during Tun’s time.

According to him content is not king, but the technology is king.

I’m still believe in content is king, but the technology is emperor.

Gan said journalist unlike politicians, journalists have to account for theirs every single report they write - every day. They can even lose their credibility just by a single wrong report.

Jeff Ooi

Jeff Ooi(owner of screenshots, the most influential blog in Malaysia) said, through blog, we are creating borderless sphere of networking. Blog is a powerful channel of media.

No wonder some of our journalist in mainstream newspaper can copy and paste from blogosphere to make as their stories.

Youth should be more content savvy. Ooi opined that a generation of ‘intelligentsia’ is fast emerging. These are people who are exposed to overseas education and communicate using the Internet for both work and play.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Of Christ and the Not-So-Prodigal-Son

(image from

I have recently had my hands on something good. Something great. No it’s not what you think it is. I have gotten my hand on the other ‘good thing’ since I was 10. But that’s another story altogether.

On the usual midnight excursion to find food recently, I have bought a copy of The Passion of the Christ. This little place in Hartamas has been selling not-so-legal-DVDs for quite sometimes. It’s really hard to find this DVD since the whole banning issue and such. Don’t get me wrong. I do frequent places like Speedy and Borders for my DVD fix, but it’s just so hard to find what you really want to watch at those places. The censorship and limited number of allowed movies have seriously decreased amount of available things to watch.

TV you said? Don’t make me get into that. TV has lost its charmed since I stepped into that exclusive boarding school. The only thing I look forward to are news and Oprah Winfrey and the occasional dose of FashionTV. But other than that I have to say TV is so 1995 (pre boarding school).

So back to The Passion of The Christ. The film revolves around the moment when Jesus Christ, played by Jim Caviezel, is Captured at the Garden of Gethsemane to the Crucifixion at Golgotha and ends with the Resurrection. Set in its original language (presumably) Aramaic, Hebrew and Latin, the producer, director and screenwriter Mel Gibson and Benedict Fitgerald have managed to capture not only the suffering but also the very essence of Christianity and the PASSION. The subtitle is scarce; some dialogues/speeches are not translated (later revealed to be on purpose by the director). But with the linear narrative and occasional reminiscent of the life the before he is betrayed by his apostle, Judas Iscariot and captured by the regional guards, it is pretty easy to figure things out.

And no, contrary to popular fear, I do not embrace Christianity after watching that. Instead I ‘mengucap’ a few times at the sight and Jesus Christ being flogged. See, no harm done.

Biographical films like Capote, Monster and Frida are quite popular. The viewers are more inclined to know and experience the life of these people through more senses than just one (eye, by reading stories in books). By listening to the words spoken by the almost true to life characters, we can ‘live’ their lives, their ups and downs and be apart of their world.

Have fictional characters lost its charm? I would have to say no since people do watch great movies like Bee Season, Legally Blonde and Star Wars. But we’ll talk about that later. Ait?

I watched Monster a few years back. The lead roles, played by Christina Ricci and Charlize Theron, blew me away. The transformation of voice and body language by Theron was so realistic that at moments I totally forgot that I was looking that the gorgeous Charlize Theron.

The movie Monster presented me with another dimension of life. The rawness of the film captured my attention. No emotion was spared, no beautification needed. Everything was imperfect that it became so perfect.

Some people do not have the luxury of going to movies to catch the latest flicks or spend 10 ringgit on ‘not so legal’ DVDs or 50-70 ringgit on legal DVDs. These people have no choice but to tuned in to local TVs and if they are lucky, Satellite TVs (which we will get to later as well).

Local TV stations have showed nothing but the struggle of the Malays with their so much inheritance and the-return-of-the-not-so-prodigal-sons/daughters/grandkids, and the husbands that has nothing on his mind but the maids/secretaries. That or the mind numbing pseudo ‘reality’ programs.

The Malays have come along way since the independence and still we dwell on trivial things that do not at all reflect on the way the Malays are living. We do not have good movies shown weekly for these unfortunate people and the weekly dramas are their only window to the real world. Housewives who have nothing to do but take care of the kids, the unemployed and the plain lazy who spend days and days in front of the TV.

Back to the Malays and their obsessions with ‘harta peninggalan mak bapak’ and the struggle to manage the multimillion dollar firms. Or the not so prodigal son who requests that the father , a muslim be buried in his suits and ties instead of the usual white sheet. Come on. Be realistic.

Every time I try to watch these dramas, I find it very difficult for me to connect or identify with it.

I have friends who come from various backgrounds. From the ultra rich, to the not so rich and not once have I heard anybody talks about managing the father’s firm, or fighting with brothers and sisters to inherit the money and all.

I have also friends who have been staying in the States/London/Berlin for years and years, some even their entire lives, and are better Muslims than some of us. And by God they do know about KLCC and KLIA (Yusri, read this)

Are we portraying the real life? Or just the life that we wanted to be in, sort of like a dream life.

Enough with the power struggle and the cliché take on religious matter already. Let’s concentrate more on the hardship of everyday life. The fact that we do not have that much money to spend on things like books and movies, since most are spent on the extorting price of petrol (which apparently will never decrease despite the $54 per barrel price tag) and books. What about a struggling artist? But not too mushy and he must not live in rambled near torn down shacks because believe it or not, these people have proper houses with the occasional lack of TVs.

Or the everyday commute to work and the adventure that one encounters. The traffic jam, the radio stations that play nothing but good/crappy music and maybe the occasional glances at the drivers next to you. There, a perfect story that I can truly relate to.

Or the lives of our former Prime Minister maybe? And no, Jallaluddin Hassan may not play the lead role. You too, Erra Fazira.

Despite all that I do still love to watch some of the malay movies made in the 80’s and 90’s like:
1. Dewi Cinta
2. Selubung
3. Layar Lara

And many more.

I think we have to wake up and smell the coffee already. Look at the way people are living. Examine their characters and maybe get to know their stories. I’m sure everybody has a story to tell.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Monday, January 22, 2007

AJL 21 ....

Kemerduan suara penulis lirik lagu Terlalu Istimewa, Adibah Noor mengungguli Anugerah Juara Lagu ke 21 baru-baru ini. Syabas diucapkan kepada Adibah Noor dan komposernya Azlan Abu Hassan.

AJL 21 dengan temanya Rentak Kita Rentak Dunia cuba membawakan unsur yang grand namun begitu konsep yang dibawa tidak selari dengan cara pengacaraan yang ditonjolkan. Jika diteliti semula, dimana pembaharuan yang ingin ditonjolkan? Apakah hanya ini yang mampu dilakukan oleh industri penyiaran?

Sebagai contoh, Glam Walk atau Red Carpet ini menonjolkan konsep grand namun begitu pengacara Awal Ashaari dan Aishah Sinclair masih menemubual setiap selebriti dengan soalan yang sama yang lebih memfokuskan kepada pakaian, teman yang mengiringi ke majlis. Soalan perlu diketengahkan oleh para good looking host kepada selebriti - selebriti ini seharusnya seperti

a. memfokuskan terhadap kematangan industri muzik tanahair berdasarkan pencapaian
AJL dari dulu hingga sekarang.

b. adakah tema itu seiring dengan senario industri muzik tanahair?

Dengan cara pengacaraan sebegini akan membentuk persepsi positif malah memberi impak positif terhadap apa jua genre rancangan.

Menyentuh mengenai bahagian produksi, saya berpendapat Glam Walk tidak sepatutnya dijalankan secara live. Sebaliknya visual temubual bersama artis di Glam Walk di rekod lebih awal. Ketika Glam Walk dijalankan dilihat kebanyakkan selebriti sudah berada didalam stadiumJika diteliti dan diamati, ia telah mengakibatkan perjalanan program AJL21 terganggu. Adakah bahagian produksi sudah tidak mampu berfikir mengenai masalah ini?

Berdasarkan komen daripada ‘orang kuat’ TV3 mengenai AJL21, “we hope to create music that can blend with international music.”

Saya berharap that he can blend people’s mind with his local program with global approach and build up more thinking audiences so that Malaysian won’t look stupid.

TV3 didalam laman webnya menyatakan bahawa AJL21 mendedahkan info muzik terkini kepada khalayak. Khalayak kini bijak memilih lagu-lagu serta muzik yang mereka ingin dengar. Mereka sekarang pandai menilai lagu yang baik dan lagu yang tidak baik.

Sebenarnya TV3 patut menyedari bahawa menjadi tanggungjawab media untuk membentuk penonton menjadi lebih pandai berfikir dan menilai samada melalui program yang berbentuk hiburan mahupun talk show. Ini akan membawa rakyat Malaysia kepada satu tahap pemikiran seiring negara-negara maju. This is the meaning of rentak kita rentak dunia.

p/s: We're support you Rocky and Jeff!!

Lens 6
: Seeing Red Rising, Red New Blood & Red Marks for Reporting

Due to the lack of quality content of local origin available on the Idiot Box, the ESPN & Starsport cable channels has always been among the prime alternatives for me.Last weekend, a double header clash of the giants in EPL had me on the edge for both Saturday & Sunday nite (more like early Monday morning too). Congratulations to the Liverpool faithfuls. Kudos too for the Gunners die-hards.Apart from the on-field drama, which was great indeed ( shall not be elaborated in details as that's for another forum), I can't help but be envious of the production people in those two channels. They have one of the most popular sports product in world as their raw materials and a ready made footie hungry viewers this side of the globe eagerly waiting to be satisfied.Good products & good buyers. I am envious indeed. However as last weekend also saw the Malaysian Open (badminton) and Australian Open (tennis) in progress, I was finger tapping the remote like crazy.The hazard of that was not physical but editorial. While the the two cable channels deliver in an almost perfect way, the free to air local channel packaging irritatingly lags years behind.We are still at the 'Nurul Huda Puteri Emas Negara in the 80s TV mode' .Commentaries are redundant to the point of suffocation.Pronounciations and enunciations are careless at best.Editorial direction seems clueless.Narratives are disjointed in terms of story flow and visual editing.To shift to such contrasting qualities of production at rapid pace made the discrepancies glaringly obvious.Please, can we have a bit of intelligent and professionalism in the local TV coverage of sports?Not that I am a wannabe Mat Saleh forgetting my traditional roots hence rooting for 'gwailo' dominated channels.I have dissatisfactions with them too.After countless episodes and man hours of laborious following of ESPN & Starsports, they are not perfect too.John Dykes, I personally feel has grown too confident and cocksure of himself that he is too methododical in his handling of the disucssions. Too empirical in his analysis, too Mat Saleh in his worldview and rigid to the point of boringly predictable in his presentation. I now got the feeling that he is more focused on how he looks and sounds, more than the content.But don't get me wrong. John Dykes is still by far the best sports anchor as far as this region is concerned for me. However Andrew Leci is quietly but rapidly having my votes for that acknowledgement. But these are questions of taste and preferences. They are ok, but I want more. Unlike our local coverage, which fails and fails miserably to deliver quality viewing.
Labels: Sporty Byte