Good People in Penang and Selangor are working on Makkal Osai

I understand that some good people in or advising the Penang and Selangor state governments are working on the rescue of Makkal Osai.

Let us hope that history will be made today or tomorrow that the press will no longer fear BN’s bullying: Revoke the publication permit as much as you like, we will turn to the state governments for exemption!

May we celebrate the death of PPPA before the World Press Freedom Day (May 3)!


One response to “Good People in Penang and Selangor are working on Makkal Osai

  1. A very good suggestion and contribution by you! Syabas!

    May I suggest in addition to reviving Makkal Osai, please also look into the possibility of setting up a new newspaper in English, Malay and Chinese for the 5 PR controlled states to get their news across to the Rakyat. Not every one have access to the internet.

    However a point to ponder deeper is whether PR wants to revive Makkal Osai per se or absorb the staff over to a new Tamil newspaper. You must remember that Makkal Osai is owned by a BN component party, Dr Subramaniam of the MIC.

    If Makkal Osai is revived in the 5 PR controlled states in the way suggested, what is there to stop BN in future under Badawi or an authoritarian like Najib, assuming he took over the mantle from Badawi, from twisting the arm of Makkal Osai (through the financier, Dr Subramanium who is still in BN) to become another MSM? That would defeat the purpose of rescuing it, isn’t it?

    Wouldn’t it be better for PR controlled states to start a new Tamil newspaper absorbing the staff of Makkal Osai? At least, that should future-proof the tamil newspaper for getting across the news of PR on a more permanent basis.

    In my understanding, once exemption is granted, it is not restricted by geography and the newspaper can be circulated anywhere.

    The aim in longer term is not to only free the existing newspapers from BN’s threat, but to break the control of entry once and for more – with a non-discretionary policy to grant anyone the exemption so long some minimal requirements are fulfilled. In this case, anyone can publish and who will survive will depend on the market. A Makkal Osai toeing BN’s line will then receive its verdict.

    I do not support PR printing their own newspaper (if they only give exemption to their own organ) as I see it but another form of media control. However, if the barrier of entry is taken down, then anyone including PR and BN may publish or own as many newspapers as they like, and market will reward or punish the competitors according to the quality of their news and opinion.

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