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Monday, October 15, 2007

Truth and Inconsequence

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Just before Malaysia went on an extended weekend holiday for Hari Raya, Malaysia's Minister of Propaganda Information was reported in the media - or at the very least, Malaysiakini - giving license to the media to put yet another nail in their own credibility coffin.

In essence, Zam says Pak Lah's pledge to "hear the truth" doesn't apply to the media.

Image hosting by PhotobucketClick on image to read full report (subscription required)

The media, in other words, cannot report the whole truth - only parts of the truth (if at all) that have some wonderful feel good factor. Or parts that make the Government look good. Or both. And as expected, the English language media at large did not report on this revelation - except for Malaysiakini.

Zainuddin then explained that Abdullah's often repeated pledges of "listening to the truth" were only restricted to government officials and Barisan Nasional leaders so as to assist the cabinet in making decisions.

Based on the account by a well-placed source, Zainuddin said Abdullah's pledge did not mean that the media have the green light to practice unrestrained reporting because certain topics were considered highly sensitive.

Zainuddin added that the cabinet often scrutinises media reports and have noticed that at times, Abdullah’s statements have been misconstrued. However, the minister did not elaborate on this.

The information minister also ticked off two television stations, warning them to stay away from reporting with a racial slant as this could trigger another ‘May 13' riots.

(Source: Malaysiakini)

And as usual, nothing underlines a threatening statement more than the spectre of May 13 - the intellectually bankrupt Malaysian politician's favorite bogeyman - that anything deemed sensitive by the Government has the potential to trigger another similar incident.

These days, though, nothing much that comes out of this man surprises Walski anymore. But this latest statement does confirm the fact that the Malaysian media is psychologically controlled by the Government. Report only the positive - or be prepared to pay the consequences. All print media is strictly controlled and licensed by the Government, who can yank the licensing at any time, and pretty much for any reason it wants to.

And anyone who still refuses to believe that the Malaysian Government has the media's ball in the clutches of their grimy hands, after this, is pretty much an idiot in Walski's book.

The truth, it seems, has too much potential to set us free. And that, boys and girls, sends shivers down the spine of this mismanaged government.
(more untruth in the full post)

So, let's disect what Zam has to say about the sources of truth for Pak Lah's consumption. The only source of truth, true enough for Pak Lah, is the truth that comes from Government officials, and of course, BN politicians. Truth from any other sources, therefore, are just not true enough for Pak Lah.

Why? Probably because these other sources have the inconvenient tendency to contain more truth, in all likelihood. Truth, after all, doesn't promote the "feel good" factor, especially when the truth is, shall we say, sucky.

And of course, everybody knows that BN politicians and Government officials don't have any vested interests, and are totally objective, right?

Oh, look... a flying pig!

Already, the mainstream print media has little credibility left with the Malaysian public - or at least the urban ones, and those with Internet access. And perhaps this news report explains why Zam has a problem with bloggers.

On bloggers, Zainuddin told the media professionals not resort to information provided in blogs.

"They (bloggers) are citizen journalists. If you use (materials from) their blogs, then you are no longer a real journalist," he said.

(Source: Malaysiakini)

In other words, to be real journalists, potential propogation of untruths and half-truths, as long as they are positive to the Government, is a prerequisite.

Image hosting by PhotobucketThe All-Seeing/HearingSleeping PM doesn't need more truth to disturb his slumber
(poster stolen from Mob1900)

One bit of embarassing truth that came out recently is the 2006 Auditor General's report. Or more accurately, some details in the report that indicated mismanagement. And, interestingly enough, Malaysia has to be one of the few countries where an Auditor General's report can mysteriously cause fires.

An early morning fire on Saturday destroyed a portion of a RM11.2mil abattoir and meat processing centre at Kinarut, about 20km from the city.

The Sabah Meat Technology Centre was opened last October and was among the state projects queried in the 2006 Auditor-General’s report.

Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang questioned various aspects of the facility including the manner in which project’s contract was awarded and why it was under-utilised.
(source: The Star, September 24, 2007)

Yes, folks - truth can have serious consequences - including mysterious fires. And perhaps it's because Zam is a concerned individual, and doesn't want further mysterious tragedies that he's called upon the media to be careful with what they report. Especially if it contains the truth.

Oh, look... another flying pig!