Friday, May 8, 2009

Malaysiakini's 'about Us'

This letter  by one Mart Garbera caught my attention. While many condemn newspapers and online portals based on their contents, Mart chose to comment and condemn Malaysiakini based on it's 'about us' entry. 

Mart says "I was about to join your ‘famous' website but declined because of your boasts and those who awarded your website are one of the same - subjugated, enslaved, Western-induced weak brains. 

I have a million more to write to both of you but please publish these questions to see if you ‘really' practice justice, human rights, democracy, freedom of speech and good governance. Let your supporters see what you people think who you are.

Your claims in your About Us and my simple, soft rebuttals and challenges are as follows:

Read more here

He ends his comments with this "To me, Malaysians who follow this so-called justice and freedom coined by the West are really stupid. So Steven Gan and Premesh Chandran, who do you glorify and look up to?

Please don't bull_ _ _ _ me! I am smart enough to see Malaysiakini's weakness and I strongly suggest you close this stupid site run by mere subjugated, enslaved, Western-induced weak brains for the same subjugated, enslaved, Western-induced weak brains!

Malaysia can be successful without slavery, invading other countries, killing people and stealing. 

‘Malaysia Boleh' brother! Free your enslaved and subjugated thoughts! Reject Western stupidity! 

END******************************************************************************

I would somewhat concur with the author. I was one of those who followed Malaysiakini since it’s inception 10years ago. I used to write to their ‘letters’ column regularly and most of my letters get published. I became a fan mainly due to the then false notion that Malaysiakini is fair and the fact that we were generally excited over the emergence of an independent online news portal. 


While I sympathise their ordeal in establishing themselves, congratulate them for the awards and financial success, their credibility has become suspect of late. 

Over the years, the quality of news and articles has fast become poor and I have come to a conclusion that they are biased at times and negative in general. If you just look at all the titles of their articles, most of them are negative, biased towards opposition or speculative in nature. Many of their speculation were proven to be wrong but they found that there is no reason to apologise or make correction unless of course there are pressures from affected quarters. 

Malaysiakini’s voxpop and letters column has become an avenue for some immature brats to vent their frustration against the government while they still do publish some pro-government opinions and rebuttals in the guise of fairness. 

Most comments and letters are opinions made are selective, one sided, without reliable argument, justification or evidence and Malaysiakini found them fit to be published. One good example is the Perak crisis where every Tom, Dick & Harry assumes the role of a constitutional expert and Malaysiakini chose to give them space despite being aware that there is not much value in their opinion or comments. Maybe they lack quality contribution from readers and they are forced to publish whatever that they receive or have in their hands. 

Even blogs have better articles and opinion than Malaysiakini. The only value that Malaykini has is their ability to provide breaking news, even that at times has been surpassed by the ‘The Star’ and Malaysian Insider, who is gaining strength by the day. 

I do not wish to compare Malaysiakini to Mainstream media as they are completely different. You don’t get entertainment, sports or business news widely via Malaysiakini, in that sense, Mainstream media is still relevant. Only when it comes to political news, both Mainstream media and alternate media differs in terms of the spins and lies.

Whatever it is, malaysiakini is playing a good role of feeding Malaysians who are always hungry for rumors, gossips and speculations. 

I have to add to the author’ s views and misgivings on the definition of democracy, freedom of speech, human rights , justice and good governance. 

Democracy - We are surely practicing flawed western democracy, no democracy is perfect and one cannot understand what Malaysiakini’s version as it is not explained. For example, do we want a democracy ala Thailand? 

Freedom Of Speech- Again, based on whose definition? Is this freedom to say anything that they want to the affect that, when said repeatedly, people are convinced that they are the truth although there is no evidence? Freedom to speculate, freedom to spread lies and rumor while remaining anonymous? Freedom to condemn religions and religious practices?

Human Rights – What about rights of people who don’t want want eg. to be distrupted by street demonstrations, forced to vote when it is really not necessary, rights of residents who don’t want a temple in the vicinity, rights of majority rather than minority and the other way around etc. And also rights to defend their race, culture and religion, are these adequately provided and protected in the western version of Human Rights? What about freedom not to follow man made laws, isn’t that a fundamental human rights! 

Justice – Everywhere justice is found to be at times flawed, so are they great? O.J Simpson case for example, how can it be justice served? Judges and Attorney General in US are known to be persons favoured by the President and how can they be not biased, as proven many times and in many cases. How is justice fair anywhere when criminals are let free based on technicalities or lack of evidence though the whole world knows the truth. In my opinion, laws and justice are flawed anywhere in the world, not only in Malaysia and we cannot measure judges performance based on their decisions on politically related cases or even on how they were appointed. 

Good Governance – Again details are not given or explained. In simple terms, what is good for certain countries or locality may not be suitable for others, example laws, privatization, tax rates, civil service, fines etc. 

Public compliance to all local laws is usually not taken into account or even measured. Civil disobedience is never discussed or highlighted as much compared to good governance for the fear of losing support. How is it fair that we use taxpayers money to engage tens of thousands of police and enforcement agencies just to ensure that the population abide by the law, pay fines, taxes etc. Isn’t this unfair to those who are abiding the laws at all times? Why is this never raised, highlighted or discussed! Again, for the fear of losing support!

If so, it is fundamentally wrong to talk about good governance when the population is generally not obedient, voluntarily. Spending billions on enforcement just because the population is not respecting laws is certainly not a reflective of good governance but is it the fault of the government?

I may have digressed quite a bit here, so I wonder what are Malaysiakini's definition of all the ideals above! 

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

wakakaka...
u blame msiakini saying that they r biased towards opposition..wakakakak u r a government suporter so u feel biased.. but look a ur writing its so clear cut u r biased too... wakakaka... u no u r like 'ketam ajar anaknya b'jln dgn betul' wakakaka.. urslf biased too in mos of ur writin but blame others biase and publishing low quality material..same goes to u MR.BALAN.
wakakakakakakkakakakakak
joke of the year....

sanjay shan said...

dear balan
spot on brother.the people will talk,listen and hear watever they want to talk,listen and hear.so the 'People" got read beyond the line.we need to realize politics,patriotisme,nationalisme is not merely an entertainment.n i get the feeling the media "maintstream and alternate" are just exploiting the commercial value,.definetly not journalisime coz journalisme is far less lucrative.at the end of the day teh real master is the currency.Money is the root of all evil .and we codone the evil..hell i do tat.
vanakam,salam,cheers
sanjay shan
Bali,indonesia

MoneyMatters@Nizam said...

Bro,

Might as well you read Malaysian Insider. Free somemore and no need to pay. The quality outstanding. I've stopped my subs with Malaysiakini. Wasting my money. No credential. So bias esp in Voxpop attacking govt, BUMI and MUSLIM

balan said...

Mr Anon,

I dont run a online news media, bro. I dont claim what malaysiakini claims in their 'about us'. I also dont proclaim that I am a good writer.

Appreciate if you could read and comprehend this posting properly.