Category Archives: Media

CPO, we can’t sing national anthem together without your approval?

As if his instruction of assaulting citizens singing the national anthem and then blatantly denying it are not offensive enough, the Selangor Chief Police Officer now compares anthem-singing citizens to criminals. The Freudian slip shows that he may see himself as the colonial governor in a police state.

The Star

Police chief: Why sing the national anthem?

SHAH ALAM: The state police chief has questioned the rationale behind
Internal Security Act (ISA) protesters singing the national anthem at
their illegal gathering near the Amcorp Mall on Sunday.

“Are they expecting policemen to stand at attention each time they
sing the anthem? If so, what would happen if every criminal that we
confront starts singing the national anthem?” asked Deputy Comm Datuk
Khalid Abu Bakar.
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Negaraku – Let’s proclaim our love for Malaysia

Let’s fight violence with peace.

Let’s fight hatred with love.

If some senior police officers have so much contempt for our national anthem, we must be patient to educate them like a patient kindergarten teacher would do with the mischievous kid.

Let us sing national anthem every time we feel like declare our constitutional right to gather with more than three persons without asking for police permit.

Let us carry our camera everywhere and see how many times the police can beat citizens up for singing the national anthem and then lie to the public.

Let us sing it aloud:

Tanah tumpah-Nya darahku*
Rakyat hidup, bersatu dan maju
Rahmat bahagia, Tuhan kurniakan
Raja kita selamat bertakhta
Rahmat bahagia, Tuhan kurniakan
Raja kita selamat bertakhta

*No, Khalid Abu Bakar, that’s not the cue for your men to beat us up!

(Dian Abdullah. Photo:

(Peaceful Malaysians withstanding police violence. Remember November 25!)

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Why do the media downplay the attack on national anthem?

In journalism, novelty is king.

“When a dog bites a man, that is not news, because it happens so often. But if a man bites a dog, that is news”, as it is attributed to an American editor John B. Bogart.

Do you wonder why the media – at least Utusan, NST, The Star, The Sun, Sin Chew and Oriental Daily that I have checked through – choose to downplay the Selangor Police’s attack on citizens singing national anthem?

You expect people get punished only for showing contempt, not respect, to the national anthem.

In Thailand, you will get fined for standing up when the national anthem is played in the cinema.

Where on earth would you find police attacking people for singing their own national anthem?

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Malaysia Turns Adult in the Festival of Lights: The 21st Anniversary of Operasi Lalang

Malaysia Turns Adult in the Festival of Lights: The 21st Anniversary of Operasi Lalang

Writer Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI) wishes all Malaysians a happy Deepavali which shall soon usher in a new era of light over darkness. This year’s Deepavali is especially meaningful for all Malaysians, and not only the Hindu faithful, as it is also the 21st Anniversary of Operasi Lalang, the darkest moment in the Malaysian history for a generation.

In 1987, 106 socio-political activists – of all ethnic and convictional backgrounds – were detained without detention under the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA) while three newspapers were suspended under the authoritarian Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA). All these were done in the name of preserving national security and inter-ethnic harmony.

Same Law, Different Reactions

While the law is still intact two decades later and has produced new prisoners of conscience such as Raja Petra Kamaruddin, the Hindraf 5 and other political dissidents, Malaysians now have completely different reactions to such political crack-down.

Rather than engulfed by a climate of fear, Malaysians of all ethnic, religious and political backgrounds are now calling for the abolition of the ISA and the release of all prisoners of consciences.

This shows that Malaysians have come out age as a nation and a people. If we were a baby easily intimidated and traumatized 21 years ago, this Deepavali marks the attainment of our political adulthood. The outcries against ISA and other draconian laws have never been louder.

The public now squarely reject the flawed argument that a multicultural country can only choose between different forms of darkness: an authoritarian government and communal conflicts. Instead, we seek the lights endowed in ourselves as humans: rationality, free will, and the wisdom to strive for common goods.

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Are We A Free Nation? (Joint Merdeka Day Message by 22 Groups)

AAre We A Free Nation?

A Joint Merdeka Day Message

30 August 2008

Independence means that the nation is free from any imposed political domination, citizens are sovereign and are masters of their own destiny. For that to be true, they must at least be able to think freely, express and exchange opinion, and, obtain and disseminate information without fear or favour.

As we celebrate the 51st anniversary of our Merdeka tomorrow and the 45th anniversary of Malaysia’s establishment in two weeks’ time, we should be celebrating our political adulthood.  We should be proud that as citizens, we are atruly sovereign people,  ruled by nothing more than the collective free will of our citizenship. We invite all Malaysians to ponder before lighting fireworks and joining the parade: Are we truly freeAre we truly sovereign?

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Are you still a kid when you are 51?

Are you still a kid when you are 51?

Will you not feel insulted if you are asked this question? Unfortunately this has been the statement made everyday at your face.

Don’t believe me? Look at this chart by thenutgraph:

If you are not a kid, why do you need someone to decide what you can read and what you cannot?

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The Nut Graph is now on!

Do you remember “”? They promised to launch a news portal after the elections. Here it is.

It’s “The Nut Graph”, a term in media writing referring to the paragraph after the lead that explains the news value of the story, or to answer the skeptics’ question: “so what? why should I care?”

Why “The Nut Graph”?

Here’s Jacqueline Ann Surin’s explanation:

“At The Nut Graph, we hope we will be able to serve public interest ethically, responsibly and with courage. The nut graph is the paragraph that explains the point of a story. In a nutshell, it tells readers why something is significant enough that it needed to be written and published and read.

What is of significance to the public’s interest is not always what is new or what is salacious. While it may be riveting coffeeshop talk to keep abreast of the latest sodomy accusations against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, does it really serve the public interest if the media allocates so much resources to the latest twists and trysts at the expense of other larger issues that need serious national attention? As unsexy or “old” as the issue of urban poverty may be at a time when sex scandals are the talk of town, do we serve the public interest when we report on the scandals and forget about the stories of social inequality that really need to be told?

This is why, at The Nut Graph, we plan to not just do spot reporting of the latest breaking news; we plan to also connect the dots for readers so that we can all make sense of what’s going on in and outside the country, and so that we can respond intelligently and responsibly as informed and knowledgeable citizens. And we plan to carry out journalism that is as ethical, fair and responsible as possible. Where we fail, we hope we will be held accountable.”

A Call To You: Free The Nation by Freeing the Media

While the nation’s attention is drawn to Sabah and Sarawak on possible sea-change party politics, I would like to draw yours back to the larger picture of democratization and one of the most vital legal-institutional changes needed – media law reform.

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Bar’s HRC told Zaid: Media Law Reform is State’s responsibility

The Bar Council’s Human Rights Committee has told lawyer-turns-minister Zaid Ibrahim in no uncertain term that

“The State now bears the primary burden of removing legislative curbs which have artificially impinged the natural position of freedom, restraints which were introduced by the State itself. Any sincere attempt to “de-regulate” the media and society must therefore start with an overt offer by the Government to review or repeal the said laws. It must also be accepted that the existing criminal and penal legislations in force are sufficient to regulate the media as with other actors in society. “

Endorsing the “Memorandum on Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Information” sponsored by Center for Independant Journalism (CIJ), Writer Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI), Benar and All-Blogs, the Committee also offers its expertise and assistance in drafting the Terms of Reference for the Parliamentary Select Committee on Media Law Reform.

Thanks a lot!

The committee stresses that “the law is not the problem but a considerable problem, and the State cannot be heard to shift the lumber of restraints it created onto the media, without meeting the legitimate demands of civil society.”

Media Law Reform to Complete Decolonization

This is our response to Zaid’s call on the TOR of the proposed Parliamentary Select Committee on Media Law Reform.

CIJ, WAMI, Benar and All-Blogs congratulate the 150 journalists, bloggers and members of the public who walked from Merdeka Square to National Press Club (NPC) and later from the NPC to the square this morning to make a point: the nation’s decolonization is not complete until the media is free.
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