Image by Wits, thank you!

He was jeered and booed during his speech. But he was not wrong in voicing his opinion. It’s the bitter truth and journalists + editors must come to terms with this.

Law minister Zaid Ibrahim gave the media a tight slap on the face when he said that they were not united in press freedom issues.

He said that not everyone in the media agreed with deregulating the media and argued that some senior reporters and editors in the field do not entirely agree with total media freedom.

“Do your editors believe in what you are fighting for? Are all the reporters together in this? You have to sort all these things out first, then give us your plan”. (Malaysiakini)

How right he is. He has hit the nail right into the coffin. And until editors and journalists across the board can resolve this issue, no government is going to respect them, ever.

* * * * * *

Journalists did walk after all on Sunday under the BENAR banner. Well done! They defied the warning of ‘security and traffic” by the police. About 150 of them! What a sight it must be!

Thanks to the police too, who were present, but took no action. Of course, no orders to take action, this time, eh? If police did take action, if would have been a slap instead on the face of Zaid.

Kudos to organisers of the event, BENAR, Centre for Independent Journalists (CIJ), National Union of Journalists (NUJ), All-blogs and Writers for Media Independence (WAMI.)

But Zaid’s question above must be answered by these organisations who claim to represent journalists and bloggers.

* * * * * *

Zaid, I must say, continue to hit the nail into the coffin. and it’s time for journalists to reflect on his questions. As bitter as it may taste, I cannot help but agree with him, that media practitioners are sometimes not willing to push the envelope of freedom:

“You must ask yourself first – do you take up an unpopular issue with your newsowner? Don’t assume all ministers are unreasonable”.

This, however, I cannot accept:

“We cannot have total freedom for the media. There is no such thing. If there is, there would be anarchy. If you want the government to deregulate media freedom, you must offer us some alternatives”.

He wants a clear plan so that media organisations can assure the government that they won’t be serving any particular interests.

Hahaha! Look, who’s talking! Editors present at the event, what say you?

* * * * * *

Don’t forget to read:

Free Media for a Free Nation

26 responses »

  1. Mamak Penang says:

    Some days ago somebody is telling that Senator Zaid is a liberalist!.But after reading this he opted be a UMNO goons again!!!.Realy sad!.
    He realy forget about what is Liberlism!.Liberalism emphasizes rights and equality of opportunity.1.Freedom of thought and speech. 2. The rule of laws 3. The free exchange of Ideas 4. Market or Mixed economy 5 .Transparent system of goverment.The rules of law is and insistence upon the guarantee of and Independent Judiciary.We also understand that Free Speech sometime may lead to speech that is obsense,blasphemous,or treasonous.We not going to do that!!!!!.We love this country as our sole home.Shall we going to destroy the home?.Stupid lSenator!!!

  2. cjcm says:

    “But after reading this he opted be a UMNO goons again!!!.Realy sad!.”

    So much from the man Bakri Musa calls a gemstone among pebbles.

  3. While someone is hitting ‘nails in the coffin’
    Some folks are too busy with ‘food in the tiffin’
    While a few try to make do with merely a muffin
    The odd one will still be looking for the puffin

    (C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng – 010608
    http://MotivationInMotion.blogspot.com
    Sun. 1st June 2008.

  4. Kow Chu Thain says:

    Investigative journalists are toiling themselves to collect, procure, witness, 1st hand account and the proprieties of investigative journalisms are correlated and disputed with (arm-chair)editors resulted in many cases the original events being twisted to the likes of the “power-house” (proprietors/ owners) of certain press.

    Among all press, I must say I respect Steven Gan of Malaysiakini web portal the most for his intrepidities that spearhead true media freedom.

    Another person I respect is Raja Petra Kamarudin. I must, duly take my hats-off to our dearest, Susan Loone, for her courage of independent, perspective and hard-hitting (to a certain extent) esp. on the Altantuta Sharibuu’s murder trial, and behind the scene.

    Of Zahid Ibrahim, I have mix reaction of this man’s credibilities (plaudits to an UMNO man). He did the right thing in calling to institute legal enquiry to the infamous 6 in the “Linggamgate” scandal.

    His police report against Mr. Karpal Singh is uncalled for but he is still better off than his predecessor (what’s the name of that man who once said Singapore is an island to justify the tiny population of Singaporeans to Malaysians to justify corruption)

  5. cosmos says:

    There is NO press freedom in this country. Why control the media through licensing? And even the internet blogs, the government want to CONTROL. The government don’t want to hear the truth, and can’t accept the truth either.

  6. wits0 says:

    Cheh! Zaid has to mention the same old stale bromide about absolute Press Freedom”. Don’t we already understood that but what he meant is rather different. Can you all guess?

    The Dud Star double latuk and staunch Christian, one who sacrificed church service, was reportedly also there(and must have readily agreed with Zaid).

    Of course the noosepapers editors will disagree, especially the malay medium ones and Banana who are ever eagerly the gomen propaganda mouthpiece.

    Zaid merely demonstrates that the more reform is talked about, the more things must stay the same.

  7. Niamah says:

    This lawyer is the type who puts two men into a fight and runs off with their clothes.

  8. Niamah says:

    Two lawyers, Jon and Amanpreet, head out for their usual 9 holes of golf. Jon offers Amanpreet a $50 bet. Amanpreet agrees and they’re off. They shoot a great game. After the 8th hole, Amanpreet is ahead by one stroke, but cuts his ball into the rough on the 9th.

    ”Help me find my ball. Look over there,” he says to Jon. After a few minutes, neither has any luck. Since a lost ball carries a four point penalty, Amanpreet secretly pulls a ball from his pocket and tosses it to the ground. ”I’ve found my ball!” he announces.

    ”After all of the years we’ve been partners and playing together,” Jon says, “you’d cheat me out of a lousy 50 bucks?”

    ”What do you mean, cheat? I found my ball sitting right there!”

    ”And you’re a liar, too!” Jon says. ”I’ll have you know I’ve been STANDING on your ball for the last five minutes!”

  9. kittykat46 says:

    Its true that many (not all) the editors of MSM are ball carriers, and do UMNO’s work, usually without having to be told. In fact its a required career advancement strategy in the MSM.

    But its also rather rich for Zaid Ibrahim to throw the ball back into the journalist’s court.

    Just a month ago we witnessed the drama of the born-again BN still refusing to renew Makal Osai’s publishing permit.
    Who’s talking about absolute freedom of the press? We are just asking for reporting without political spin, filtering, BN-only agendas, suppressing reports on the Opposition.

  10. caravanserai says:

    Disunity befall nations and people
    What more with companies and its directors
    So are the reporters and editors…………
    Different agendas wrong turning roads
    It is easy picking for the authorities
    Simple rule many forget in pursuing common goals

    The walk of press freedom
    A small group yet a message understood
    But the newspapers leaders don’t go
    There is no heart and soul
    So it will be just that
    A marching to show the people
    Something must be done

    The ills of the structure of control
    Making profits and eager to please
    The authority controlling the licenses
    Renewal every year………….

    The unity must be seen
    Across the line of different groups
    In newspapers and magazines
    Otherwise the axe will come
    As the leaders like and wish

    Unity makes victory
    For a good fight and foot print in history
    It is better to read about Mahatma Ghandi
    Learn the history of decades gone
    Maybe there is something burning still

  11. temenggong says:

    Would the presence of all 5 heads of the largest media agencies made any difference, especially as most of them are linked to the ruling party? Haven’t the press spoken with one voice in these last few decades?

    Zaid was deflecting. Thats all. The last credible person left in umno now has to be written off. This morning Zaid chose to stay with colonial oppression!

  12. donplaypuks says:

    Until the PPPA, ISA & Sedition Act are repealed, and the OSA restricted in its usage and laws established to ban political parties from owning and/or controlling MSM, there’s no use talking about Editorial or Journalists’ integrity.

    When faced with bread & butter issues, only the extremely brave or foolish or both will defy their political masters.

    Many years ago, even the editor of the London Times was booted out when there was a conflict with Rupert Murdoch, proving that the concept of Editorial Independence is a myth !!

  13. Andrew says:

    Could the real VKChin please stand up, preferably the one pre 1987.

  14. flyer168 says:

    The Powers that be will always work on the “Divide & conquer” principle…
    “Heads I win, Tails you lose”

    Yes Editorial Independence is still a myth !

    Can we all be smarter than the Powers that be ?

    Ofcourse we can, if we are all together with strong representatives from the Big league media (not necessary their Editors) & start working smarter & wiser ! Seek & thou shall find !

    With the Powers that be still in Denial & continuing to neglect the peoples needs, etc, then they are the ones who are provoking the people to protest & with their Robots reacting with brutality….we will have nasty scenarios which will get worse.

    Talk is cheap & too much rethorics on both sides.

    Well, we all have to sit back, think hard, do more home-work & present the alternative Proposal, work with him (to walk his talk) & invite the other Ministers for the next walk.

    The People must persevere to find ways – win over strong representatives from the Big league media, propose Short/Long-term workable alternatives & finally to engage with the Powers that be to correct any/all the deficiencies.

    The Powers that be must LISTEN, accept their shortcomings & engage with the People on the alternative proposal to correct any/all the deficiencies.

    Egos, etc must be put aside by both parties to achieve a win-win for the sake of this nation’s Peace/Stability & the rayaat’s wellbeing.

  15. Jed Yoong says:

    all this sandiwara…..

  16. su says:

    I agree with most of what Zaid said, the way I agree with Susan. The journalists and their editors have just gotten a rough waking-up call. They have hardly been united in wanting to push forward for press freedom. Just looking at the amount of people who signed the Online Petition for the Freedom of Information Act was enough. Not even more than 800 signatures? Surely there are more journalists in Malaysia than that!!

    I commend Zaid for not making promises. The only promise he made was that he would stand for press freedom, and this is his personal promise. If he had made any other promise to the crowd, like “the govt would cooperate”, or “the govt will review the PPPA”, it would have all meant nothing. Because it would have been empty promises. He made a promise for himself. He cannot (and did not) make promises on behalf of the govt.

    Talk is cheap. We must show that we are willing to take action to fight our cause.

    http://benar.org/memo/

  17. superlawman says:

    The Umnoputras are just not fit to rule the country. They are akin to a bunch of legitimate robbers looking after a bank.

    Could these legitimate robbers allow reporters reporting freely and openly the plethora crimes which these legitimate robbers have blatantly committed?

    These legitimate Umnoputras have no conscience and dignity, they are the public traitors and enemies of the rakyat and yet they are controlling and screwing upside down the country.

    Bolehland is doomed with all these robbers running the show.

    There will be press freedom only if these robbers are behind bars and a new and clean set of administrators running the country.

    The chief aim/ task of the rakyat is to obliterate all these despicable legitimate-robbers.

  18. Robert Teh says:

    Zaid the supposedly “Man for all Seasons” in UMNO polictics has proven his admirers wrong this time by sounding like another UMNO Minister.

    Where is your consistency, Zaid? Have you lost your marbles?

    We thought you are made of sterner stuff instead of becoming “lembik” after been made Minister.

  19. wits0 says:

    A “Man for all Seasons”, never can come from umno.

  20. jackovitz says:

    i respect Mr. Ibrahim but this time he falls short with his irresponsible dialog. sounds confusing and reflects his carelessness about the hot media issues..

  21. sresh84 says:

    Zaid is wrong. If journalist asking for media freedom, doesnt mean that their editor also must be in the same mind. For example, we asking the government to abolish ISA, is it possible to ask the federal government or leaders to fight with us to abolish ISA? will they do? No, cos ISA is use to safeguard their position, to maintain their power. For me, press freedom also something to do with leaders power, we all know about the ownership crap… High position peoples in press obviously most of them is pro government, of course they wont fight for press freedom. If press freedom is granted, then their freedom in question mark… That is my way of thinking.

  22. lucia says:

    beside being booed at, there was one lady voice shouting out “bullshit!!”. (i was there as one of the benar organiser).

    for more update of the event, please visit our benar blog.

  23. BAR says:

    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. “

    http://chinhuatw.wordpress.com/2008/06/04/bars-hrc-told-zaid-media-law-reform-is-states-responsibility/

  24. wits0 says:

    It was truly disingenuous for Zaid to attempt to pull fast one by passing the buck to those calling for more Press freedom. He earned his brickbats for his shamming.

  25. bungkak says:

    My following posts will be a series of ‘reverse psychology’ motivated comments. Just putting to test how one can cut thru this maze of obstacles in a noble way. HaHaHaHaHaHa………..

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