The call to “Boycott the newspapers!” (Malaysiakini) is really nothing new. In fact, it came about 9 years late. I say this because most of us have been boycotting government controlled newspapers for years, in fact since the reformasi days.

One must be asleep not to notice how newspapers since then, and perhaps earlier, have been the fourth arm of the government, and not, as it should be, the fourth estate.

But even then there were calls, demands and campaigns to boycott NST, Utusan Malaysia and TV3, for their often unfair reporting and spin of the Anwar fiasco. But soon, without a viable alternative, accept for one miserable online news, the call to boycott became very hollow, and soon, became a distant call.

Still, many of us have turned to alternative news websites and papers like Malaysiakini, Malaysia-today, and even Harakah or Rocket, Oppositon party organs. It’s a pity that we are all not bi-lingual or tri-lingual, or else, we’ll be reading the Chinese and Tamil newspapers as well. There are government controlled but I can see the editors trying to test the boundaries, especially when they were more factual, descriptive and explosive. But since the Nanyang take over of the Chinese presses, our hopes in the Chinese media went down the drain as well.

Then came the SUN, shining brighter than the distant STAR. But guess what? After the Ijok by-election, they have been having a hard time, too.

Rather than boycotting, I’d really like to see more alternative news like Malaysiakini. If we want people to dismiss government controlled media as nothing but toilet papers, we need to give them an alternative. Until then, boycotting is a knee jerk reaction and will soon become a laughing stock as those newspapers continue to keep their readership, worst still, find new ways to increase them. Not because they have become more transparent or truthful, but just because, we Malaysians have nowhere else to read.

Now, isn’t that a tragedy?

We need more independent presses, please. More independent bloggers as well. Oh, let a thousand flowers bloom. The reason why newspapers become complacent is that they think there is a monopoly of readership. A readership who doesn’t mind compromising on the truth, as long as they are satisfied with their daily diet of fashion, sports, environment or health. However, when spoilt for choice, and there is a fierce competition for truth, including an equally attractive package for other sections like life-style and art, you can bet your bottom dollar that readers will start looking at the opposite direction when buying newspapers.

Newspaper vendors, too, are not stupid. They would rather distribute a highly popular newspaper that brings in the cash, than a sorely miserable one.Yeah, when the hits or readership or sales of alternative and independent presses go up, rivalling those of government controlled media, you bet that the advertisers would be sitting up as well, or rather, reinventing their public relations strategy.

Boycott? Seen that. done that. Leopards don’t change their spots. Why flog a dead horse?

Its time those with loaded bank accounts from the alternative crowd, start re-directing their financial resources and perhaps, busines ventures, towards more independent and free presses. Likewise, the alternative crowd should start increasing their support for more free and independent presses (I hear some don’t even subscribe to Malaysiakini), than whining about lack of coverage or truth in government controlled media.

What do you expect? They ARE government controlled newspapers, for heaven sake!

47 responses »

  1. jedyoong says:

    Nice post. People are not stupid. And the orang2 kampung also have vcd/dvd players. Setinggi tupai melompat, akhirnya jatuh ke tanah juga?

  2. […] ComMITTed to Romney! put an intriguing blog post on Permanent link to Truth needs no âboycottâ, more free press, pleaseâ¦Here’s a quick excerpt […]

  3. Dan-yel says:

    I second that. Recently I had just come across a newly emerged blogger who started blogging about current affairs, out of love and concern for this country.

    http://islandmiss.wordpress.com/

  4. Jawohl says:

    The United States of Malaysia…review of Americophilic Malaysian TV stations

    Disclaimer: I have nothing against Malaysian TV stations and the Americans.I am also not a TV critic expert nor involved in the broadcasting industry. This post is just purely my observation and my humble opinion. If you feel offended by this post, please kindly press the red cross button at the right topmost of your screen. Thank you.
    http://howsy.blogspot.com/2005/07/united-states-of-malaysiareview-of.html

  5. […] Mideast Youth – Thinking Ahead created an interesting post today on Permanent link to Truth needs no âboycottâ, more free press, pleaseâ¦Here’s a short outline […]

  6. Jawohl says:

    “PM: I hear you” – STAR Front Page

    The very fact that Abdullah must start his fifth year as Prime Minister to shout “I hear you”, “I have big ears”, are the most eloquent proofs that Abdullah is having a grave hearing problem and had not been listening to the people despite having “big ears”!
    http://blog.limkitsiang.com/2007/12/01/hindraf-demo-pak-lahs-big-ears-hearing-problem/#comments

    Maybe an elephont falling into a grave🙂

  7. amir says:

    KUALA LUMPUR, 30 Nov (Hrkh) – Naib Presiden PAS, Mohamad Sabu meminta agar Perdana Menteri, Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi terus mengekalkan Menteri Penerangan, Dato’ Zainudin Maidin atau Zam pada posisi tersebut lagi pada masa akan datang.

    “Kita minta Abdullah kekalkan jawatan Zam supaya Umno-BN mendapat menteri yang bodoh dan tidak pandai berfikir ini,” ujarnya ketika dihubungi Harakahdaily
    http://www.harakahdaily.net/bm/index.php/utama/elok-pm-kekalkan-zam-sebab-dia-tidak-pandai-berfikir-mohd-sabu.html

  8. wits0 says:

    Susan, if at first you don’t succeed, try again. 😉 The horse that was flogged didn’t perish, t’was only temporarily very slightly hurt. It shows that it can be hurt. Let mainly the biz community support it then.

    Circumstances tend to change just a little with the passage of time. The Reformasi crowd was seen as the struggle of elites and melayu politicians versus the same for their rights. Today, it’s less so.

  9. And Lovely says:

    Hi Sweet sister Suzie, I am subsriber of a local Engilh daily but I do not subsribe to it’s one side story. I normally read alternative local media like Malaysiakini and blogs so that I can discern for quasi-truth at least against the tainted, repaired and lies concocted by the venal press.

    I recently read about the newspaper I subscribed and it was cloying to death of the coverage of the current rallies. It always quoted the BN powerhouse condemdnng peaceful march as mala fide. No calrification was sought from the organisers of the rallies and why.

    I read about your prior postings if I recall vividly that you were introduced to KJ by your ex friend Azalina Dykeman where she boastfully spouted that you are a fierce reporter. Are you?

    And rumours only, someone told me you looks like Angelina Jolie. another someone told me you looks like the 2 host of “ASAM GARAM” (sorry I am not familiar with Malay talkshows nor movies but I chanced on watching it on a boring day swithching channels). They told me you are fat and ugly, I
    said never mind BUT THE OTHER ONE…….(U will not get this, someone else might)🙂

    Note: Yes, I am old, fat and ugly. So?

  10. lucia says:

    i really don’t support boycott. boycott will affect some innocent people.

    it’s all too well to say we need more independent presses, which i’m sure any sane sensible person would have agree, BUT problem is how? i’m not talking about on the web. sure on the web, it’s easy to be independent (like malaysiakini). i’m talking ‘mainstream’. knowing how our gomen works, nobody can start a truly independent news media (even if you have loads of money)! we can do that on the web but thing is that statistics shows web penetration is very low, so most people depend on mainstream media, not on the web.

  11. orangzeb says:

    More evidence of the talibanisation of malaysia by UMNO thru active participation by pakistani ISI agents:

    Sunday, December 02, 2007
    Umno V-P: Revoke their citizenship
    http://wmjpatriot.blogspot.com/2007/12/umno-v-p-revoke-their-citizenship.html

  12. orangzeb says:

    The malaysian media fully support repression and corruption by the BN gomen. They are the pimps to their customers. I don`t buy any papers for a long time now.

  13. orangzeb says:

    I don`t buy any papers of the Star or Nst anymore as they are BN pimps and procurers.

  14. Dearest Susan

    i have quoted you (tanpa izin) in Pembodohan media Malaysia

  15. wits0 says:

    Dear Lucia, of course boycott hurt people but sometimes(I’m using a melodramatic analogy)brothers end up fighting brothers as in the American Civil War and some others like the Spanish one. Not as if they would have had there not been the impasse in the matters.

    Also the Noosepapers think they have no Archilles heel such as their distribution chains. Besides can they prospper well with only the Business fraternity supporting them?

    Bring theirs circulation down by a quarter and we may find their staffs in the streets too!

    We ought not be stupified by them forever as long as we can help it.

  16. Kurniawan says:

    Perhaps things need to read from Malaysia mainstream media are sports and lifestyle. Other than that, better read alternative news media.

    Regards,

  17. lucia says:

    well you said it wits… boycott hurt people… INNOCENT people. that’s why i don’t support boycott no matter what.

    so is all this boycotting mainstream media thing just to hurt the pocket of the company? or the shame? i see so many bloggers and netizens calling for boycott or so many saying they had already stop buying mainstream media BUT yet i see these so many people quoting from the mainstream media online. this means they are still reading the mainstream media! yes, like the star and NST, online version and hardcopy version are the same. many bloggers usually quote from the online paper like the star to made a post. so while they stop reading the hardcopy, they are still reading the same online!

    yes so they boycotting of the mainstream media has nothing to do with the way they report? if yes, then why still read them online?

    to me, it is kind of hypocritical to call on a boycott of the mainstream media while they still reading the mainstream media online… unless of course as i mentioned earlier, all they worried about is the money money money part… (bring down their sales, see) which btw comes back to my stand that it will hurt innocent people.

    boycott? no thanks, not me. not the mainstream media or anything.

  18. Hunk says:

    Dear Cutie, I humbly apologiized for your goodself for indiscreet perusal and
    of being a Bangkok denizen, however kindly note what I wrote (extract)-

    Re-paste:

    “They told me you are fat and ugly, I
    said never mind BUT THE OTHER ONE…….(U will not get this, someone else might) :)”

    Kindly peruse the CAPITALS- I clearly mean the other one which is a ‘p___n’.

    Sorry, I hope u can take joke sis……or kindly omit this whole postings. Running out of time…Always enjotin your posts and humility…Cheers and may God bless your good work abundantly.:)

  19. […] menarik pandangan Susan Loone dalam postingnya bertajuk “Truth needs no ‘boycott’, more free press, please…” Menurut Susan: Rather than boycotting, I’d really like to see more alternative news like […]

  20. spider says:

    It’s time to forbid all political parties holding any interests in local newspapers. The local newspapers are nothing but propaganda tools for the corrupt and evil BN governments!

    <a href=”http://1nation1people.blogspot.com/”1people1nation.blogspot.com

  21. wits0 says:

    Dear Lucia, In an ideal world, animals would not savagely prey on one another, they’ll be all vegetarian and humanity would never war against one another. In an ideal state eveyone is perfectly honest, perhaps to the extent that they’ll never wish one another good morning because they happened to have had a bad one.

    Referring to the MSM online is different from patronising their hard copies. Supporting ’em trash papers that is hell-bent on making idiots of the populace to the extent that these people will subsequently support bad and inverted values will hurt the people thoroughly. That will accelerate and protect the slide into stupidity and partisanship which will culminate in hurting one another in various and numerous ways eventually.

    Lies and spins will hurt people for they always split humanity asunder. So it’s better to fight against this devious process and this is hardly hypocritical but, in fact, relatively noble. All measures designed to enlighten people is hardly hypocritical, even if painful. The needs of many outweighs the needs of a relative few.

  22. “Truth needs no ‘boycott’, more free press, please…”

    Dear sloone, Free press not only bermaksud media akbar (plus electronic too) yang bebas daripada dominant ideology serta bebas daripada berfungsi sebagai State controlled Apparatus, malahan Free press juga bermaksud media massa yang mudah didapati tanpa kita perlu membayar untuk mendapatkan bahan info beritanya.

    Since you mentioned Malaysiakini in your entry, so I terpaksa kata Sloone tersalah pilih contoh yang baik because Malaysiakini adalah online newpaper paid through monthly subscription; unless you choose Malaysia Today or alternative blogosphere, so it kira oklah.

    Tentang… boikot, I absolutely agreed with your point of view. Since half of media in Malaysia were controlled by government tidak kira lah melalui kawalan langsung atau tidak langsung, if we boikot these media pun; kerajaan akan menyelamatkannya.

    Besides berapa orang kah di Malaysia ini yang sanggup boikot?
    🙂

  23. Sorry… my Manglish a bit shabby… and thank for your comment for my blog!
    😛

  24. lucia says:

    quote wits: “The needs of many outweighs the needs of a relative few.”

    that is a terrible thing to say.
    (why so, it might require a long post from me)

    no matter what you said, i’ll stick to my stance that i don’t support boycott. please don’t lecture me anymore.🙂

  25. chandran says:

    `Big Ears` is a moron. Walt Disney`s `Dumbo` has big ears also. I learnt in primary school that ear drums are the important factor in hearing. But this elderly moron with very poor education says its his dumbo ears.

    Now he`s being raked over hot coals internationally while his SIL masturbates in his ears:

    Members of the British parliament have demanded that the Malaysian government scrap plans to demolish Hindu temples and allow legitimate protests against it.

    In a strongly worded statement, they have also urged the British government to take up the matter on their behalf and ‘make the strongest possible representation’ to Kuala Lumpur.
    http://www.indiaenews.com/europe/20071202/83961.htm

  26. chandran says:

    I oso don`t buy any local papers. My neighbors on both sides oso stopped.
    The malay neighbor, end house, stop his berita harian and switch to harakah. He said local news `karut`.

  27. sofiairdina says:

    Yes Chandran… what is the use of having two great big ears with an empty space in between.

    Boycotting the so-called mainstream media would not work as well as creating awareness that they, the readers, are being cheated, being told half-truths and manipulated. So I have to agree with sue that we need more alternative media. Given a choice, any reasonable person would naturally opt for the truth. Let them (msm) die a slow death.

    However, to say that a boycott will harm the innocents… well, let us not do anything bcoz like it or not there are alwiz innocent victims in everything. Demonstrations would hurt innocent traders… bad argument.

  28. Datin Sri Lidya Binti Hellaluyah says:

    On the reserved, boycotting the papers is a non-starter to begin with. I once boycotted a local press for almost a decade for being a BN mouthpeice. I only subsribed to the least one-sided press partly because of ads and movies.

    And since malaysiakini ceased the reportage of the Altantuya’s murder trial where the sources permeates onto blogs into discussions and commeteries, and blogs seems to dissipate the once sensasionalize coverage, one who follows the trial has zero option but to turn to the printing press as the online was just tantalizing coverage.

    I thereof retain my subscribtion to follow the chronology of the Altantuya’s
    trial. If I still wana boycott in total against any printage press, then I will be lining up to the courthouse every a.m.

  29. ZAHIM says:

    Oooo..why so dark Sloone.. I need to strain my eyes ma..

  30. Harrison Bin Hansome says:

    Dear Susan Loone,

    I m earnestly urgin you to re-consider to allow Monsterball back to your blog as i noticed him digressing at Eliz’s subject matters and contents apparently make hay in discussing your deliberated subject matters.

    Everytime he dropped hate mails on me (ceased upon cautionery reprisals), I in reciprocality would mellow him, and truthfully even having compassion for that nigh septuagenarian. I always reminded him of the liberty of emancipacion and by chiding him does not means I hated him consequently my critics of him has resulted myself being called a “young punk’ by him and other crude references. I even laughed out at all his onslaught charges.

    By all means it is your blog, but to forgive an adversary is as blessed as to help a friend provided that he fully repent of any felonies here. Your kindness and compassion for Monsterball’s entry is a grandeur to FREEDOM OF SPEECH whom once was your ‘true’ friend, presently perceived as your adversary. Let’s hear from the old man again, shall we? Afterall how many years more has he?

    JUST AN APPEAL AND NO INFERENCES MEANT, DEAR SUSAN!

    Monty at : http://elizabethwong.wordpress.com/2007/11/30/dec-8-9-valley-of-hope/#comments

  31. ktemoc says:

    Everyone, well everyone with a modicum of intelligence, knows that the msm has long been ‘recruited’ by the ruling parties, but that doesn’t mean that we cannot still enjoy international coverage, lifestyle and docu’s, etc without the need to read their Goebbel-speak.

    But then, reading the propaganda, and with that modicum of intelligence that we hope we have😉, we can detect/sense what’s happening or about to happen within the ruling parties. Reading only opposition blogs would be swinging to the other extreme end, feeding ourselves only with the (other) one-sided ‘stories’ – sometimes these aren’t exactly Mother-Teresa-ish.

    In the end, it’s entirely up to us, with our modium of intelligence😉 to discern, differentiate and discriminate what we read and need to read, read , read – sorry lah, no sex talk on this highly intellectual blog😉

  32. kittykat46 says:

    Its not necessary to have a boycott of the MSM – all we want is greater freedom for other alternative viewpoints.

    I’ve read quite partisan mainstream newspapers in more liberal countries too. Plenty of newspaper owners exercise an editorial line. Not that they publish false news, but there is a definite slant to the way the newspaper presents itself. In the UK, for example, The Times, Daily Mirror, Daily Telegraph all have quite distinct political leanings.

    What is sorely lacking in this country is the freedom for newsmedia representing a wide variety of viewpoints to be published, without constant threat of harrasment and being closed down , arrested etc.

  33. sen says:

    Altantuya’s trial is of no injterest to me anymore. More interested in the suit by her father against m`sian govt . I won`t waste RM1.20 to read local paper. Just boro from neigbor if i need to.

  34. sen says:

    Boikot media arus perdana
    Hasmi Hashim
    Dec 4, 07 2:53pm

    …..Merujuk demonstrasi Bersih, ramai sekali rakyat dari seluruh negara melihat bagaimana laporan media perdana seperti Utusan Malaysia, Berita Harian dan New Straits Times bertentangan dengan keadaan sebenar. Beberapa wakil media bebas dan antarabangsa, selain dari pihak kami sendiri, menyaksikan angka tersebut jauh lebih ramai daripada yang dilaporkan media-media berkenaan.

    Apa yang sedang dilakukan oleh media perdana bukan sahaja cuba untuk memperbodohkan rakyat, tetapi juga memberi gambaran yang salah kepada Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi yang mahu media bercakap benar walaupun ‘pahit’.

    Kami tidak teragak-agak untuk bersama mengembleng tenaga agar dilancarkan satu kempen “boikot media” demi mempertahankan hak untuk mendapat maklumat yang benar dan saksama di kalangan rakyat. Boikot media arus perdana bermakna menolak sebarang bentuk putarbelit dan pembohongan oleh media perdana

  35. bamboo river says:

    ..If you are angry with the chef, don’t eat the food. But if you don’t eat the food, you will starve to death.

  36. wits0 says:

    kittykat46, it’s not only what the MSM publishes in their editorials alone that abets misinformation, it’s also what they wilfully omits… those alternative mentions. For this reason alone they have abrogated their expected responsibility to society. If they see themselves as an instititution, they cannot do this all the time and be endorsed. While they are being controlled, this does not entirely exonerates them of their guilt. The Wehrmacht NCOs were fond of claiming “duty and orders” for their part at Nuremburg.

    Harrison, the foul mouth and incalcitrant Monsterball is carrying his feud elsewhere in the Blogosphere. Why are you appealing for him when it is also clear that Susan is none to amused with his behaviour not befitting of his age? What is it so indispensable about about a man who’s offensively grey in vain? Does he display recognisable wisdom in recompense?

  37. bamboo river says:

    Harrison, that is exactly the point. Looks like you took the bait.

  38. Harrison Bin Hansome says:

    Unconditional apology to all for my December 4, 2007 at 12:35 am post. Instead of thanking me he even twisted wild and unfounded allegations in his e-mail against many here including myself. I hated upon knowing some1, they incited racial hatred and other ill intents which I have never responded and having even divert his attention, he took this opportunity to reveal personal biodatas betraying once a friend of his, even dragging the faultless girlfriend onto the fray. I asked him what has it got to do with the GIRLFRIEND, he replied “SHE is of a different skin colour”….

    There are basically 2 types of people holding this intrepid dogma of
    ‘Walk The Talk and Talk The Cock’:-
    1) The 1st eg. is Raja Petra Kamaruddin who has proven beyond a shadow of a virus’ doubt that actions is stronger than words, and it it better off you stop your ramblings when you fails in putting your words into action which I truly respect and Raja Petra has never personally chided any1 for not turning up for any rallies or events. even if he chided me, I will humbly accept it as a lesson of good faith.

    2) The 2nd who under the guise of replicating such intrepid tagline who has never respect the truth at all for what it(the taglines) preaches, using such professed ideologies to attack any1 he is at loggerhead with calling them cowards, etc. Having been booted out from many many blogs, everytime he made hay in dragging certain bloggers by professing how good this bloggers are and how they fight for the truth which is cloying to death.

    The vast difference betwwen (1) and (2) is like HEAVEN and HELL and this time even GOD wouldn’t even parole U! I bet no medication could assist
    you in your schizophrenic mental disorder but if some1 is really concerned about your wellbeing they better make you an intern at HOSPITAL BAHAGIA without any internet access.

  39. bamboo river says:

    Harrison , you sounded very pissed off.
    Look at the bright side….Lesson Learned is Lesson Earned!
    I don’t know who coined this statement, just telling you from my experience.

  40. whispering9 says:

    Hahaha…it is believed that we have seven types of chakras in our body. The sixth chakra is at the center of your brow and it is sometimes call the third eye. It is related to the act of seeing, both physically and intuitively which opens our psychic faculties to understand certain things at archetypal levels. Accordingly, our chakras are usually blocked; the 6th chakra can be blocked if we think we have the chakra to see things differently from others when it is actually the same. It can be blocked by skepticism. When it is not blocked it allows us to see the big picture.

    For example, your ex-friend sees people in color slants and constantly attributed faults to the race genomes. Hence, missing the bigger picture that there is nothing wrong with different racial attributes which make us think and behave uniquely. IMHO, if we cannot see Malaysians in their good and bad shades, we miss the opportunity and means to unite. We become too eager to rid ourselves of all the bad attributes without realizing that in the razing, the good attributes are slowly turning bad. That is why good politician becomes bad after victory. With 6th chakra blocked, we only see the black and white. Even as we press for freedom, we must always keep our third eye open and healthy. Errh….do I make any sense to you.

    BTW, your ex-friend may even have a blocked 7th chakra if he does not learn to let go of love lah. Hehehe. Don’t be too hard on him. It is okay for friends and foes to be different.🙂 Don’t give up on him yet. Glad you are not influence by bad chakras.

  41. wits0 says:

    Whispering I read intensely about the Chakra (energy nodes)thing many years ago. I suspect our ex-friend’s energy never quite got over the Muladhara level and therefore can never really mellow and grow old gracefully. Hence the compulsion to appear heroic, especially with females.

    In common everyday terms, I privately wonder if it’s not a case of indulging in excessive egotism that resulted in rapid dementia. The Universe, it would seem revolve around him as deduced from his invariably inane assertions and inconsistent blatherings. He wanted so much to be respected but display little worthy enough to be. A little read person with little refinement.

  42. kittykat46 says:

    In Malaysian society, we are very much brought up to treat elderly people with consideration and respect
    I’m afraid with a certain individual, that is wearing very thin…

  43. whispering9 says:

    Aiyo…wits0. Let’s forgive and forget lah. I was surprised he didn’t go after you at Eliz right after kk46…hahaha, considering he has done it so often to Zorro and me. After my initial hurting, the blathering was rather amusing afterall. Don’t blocked your 4th chakra node. Let it flow again. Remember breath in and out smoothly. And chant the sound YAM. Let’s make this the last posting on our ex even come stones and hails. There were some good chinwags and not all were bad. Don’t you forget…it was you who did not want to complicate life with the swings of hating and loving forever. Cheer & Adious.🙂

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